MAD Perspectives Blog

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 The Connected Experience

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, September 02, 2014

What is the impact of our increasing dependency on all things mobile? How is the the connectivity between things impacting our daily lives? Our desire for connectivity is evident in the increased investment in the "internet of things". Simply put, this is the ability for devices to communicate with each other.  This may take the form of alerts to your smartphone or using your smartphone to control other devices.  Much attention has been paid to connecting to devices in the home such as, thermostats, lights, locks, refrigerators or TVs. It is all driven by our addiction to connectivity, but what about the experience?

Examples of machine to machine (M2M) connectivity include being able to verbally unlock the doors of your house by speaking into you smartphone. Future functionality might include asking your TV to find the content you seek - by name, genre or talent. The advances in technology and networks enable this "futuristic" connectivity - similar to what we once enjoyed in the Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom,  "The Jetsons".  we seek experiences that enrich or simplify our daily lives.

We've already proven that we are addicted to devices as evidenced by estimates from eMarketer, that 1.75 billion people will own smarthphones by the end of 2014. That translates to ~ 24% of the global population (as of July 1, 2014 based on estimates from the United Nations). Smartphone adoption is led by China, followed by the United States, with these countries and many others passing the 50% penetration mark in 2014 and 2015.

We've shown that we like to enhance our experiences by using devices. We use the map functions on our phones to guide our explorations. We plan running routes and track calories. We comparison shop and make dinner reservations. Why not connect to other devices and simplify repetitive tasks? 

Devices that enabled an internet connection to our TV entered our homes in the mid-2000s. Today Smart or Connected TVs enable direct internet connections that in turn allow connectivity to OTT providers such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, music sharing site Pandora or social media maven, Facebook, and others. The benefit is the enjoy the connected experience via our favorite in-home device, the TV. We choose to  enhance our TV experience with our mobile devices, enriching our experience through simultaneous connectivity to online information related to the program we are viewing, or sharing our experience on social sites or simply multi-tasking.

The connected experience is one that is constantly evolving as our definition of connectivity and tasks that can be enabled expand. Our expectations are limitless as behemoths like Apple and Google invest in enabling technologies while also defining ecosystems that may include traditional manufacturers as well as entrepreneurs. It is safe to say that the manner in which we connect and communicate, one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, or thing-to-thing will be quite different five years from now. And, it is the focus on our connected experience that will drive this market evolution.

What's your perspective?