I’ve been going through a lot of articles (here, on blogs and well known publications, etc.) and even though I’m not surprised I can say I raised my eyebrows a bit: I’d say that at least 70% of the articles I’ve found are around devices and apps. I’m talking about business publications here, as much as this platform and such so it caught my attention.
The why is simple: when discussing the IoT there are as many approaches as there are authors writing about it but if you take a closer look at the mainstream discussion it’s all about devices that produce and send information of some type, somewhere, as well as benefits and threats the IoT poses. Now, we’re not talking about smartphones anymore or tablets, we’re talking about wearable tech, medical devices, GPSs, smart kitchen appliances, etc., and when it comes to concepts we’re discussing anything from Skynet to Games of War.
What makes it eyebrow interesting to me is that most of the takes I read are actually not about Business per se but actual impressions and opinions on what the IoT is. I have to admit I even wrote a few takes on that, just to try and see if I was on the right track and I was, or so I think
The IoT today is a powerful concept with two very solid states, and so most articles can be categorized into these: the intangible and the tangible one. Not mind blowing, I know, but read on. I might still raise one of your eyebrows.
The Intangible Internet of Things
This is the very idea and concept most authors write about. You will recognize articles touching the concept with this approach because there’s a lot of opinion and that means a subjective approach. People do have an opinion (that includes me as every other IT Business Professional out there) and those with some experience probably can add some color to those opinions.
Articles in this category are all about the risks and advantages, the good and the bad such a concept can bring humans or Companies. Most writers when discussing this topic tend to open up their minds and share their own visions on what Technology can do for us or to us.
I myself am one of these authors, as I am not strictly technical and couldn’t possibly dwell a lot in the common IT jargon engineers, developers or programmers and the likes use to define the same concept. I write about what my experience tells me the IoT is: an IT based framework that so far only great minds were able to describe through Science and Science Fiction.
Ever read Asimov’s “The last Question”? If you haven’t, click here
, and you might start understanding these sort of articles better in case you haven’t.
Intangibility is basically the stuff ideas are made of so it’s not surprising that most articles in this category revolve around things taht can be explained but not seen or touched.
The Tangible Internet of Things
This category of course is representative of all articles around devices and software applications of all sorts. Basically things you can see, touch or use. Not a concept but the real application of it.
I’d say most articles that fall in this category are around reviews on anything that we say is part of the IoT or that makes it possible. Anything but IT or the actual infrastructure that has made possible the application of such a concept of course. Just to clarify this part a little bit more: the Apple Watch would just be a fancy digital watch without an OS and applications running on it and those come from somewhere, were developed by someone and produce a lot of information that yes, is stored somewhere and not just your wrist.
Anything that’s around how a device or application works falls here. Why are these articles useful though? Well, for the same reason Marketing has always explained us: there’s no better way of selling something than the old mouth-to-mouth way, or anthropologically said: “oral tradition”. We feed on reviews and the great thing about the Internet (not of Things but the actual Internet everyone seems to be forgetting about these days) is that it’s a warm media, meaning it allows two-way communication and not just one-way.
In simpler terms: it allows anyone to produce content and collect reactions. It works this way: you want to buy let’s say a supertwatch, hence you google something like “the best superwatch” and get results. You are probably going to get results that include these in the first line:
- A link to the Apple Store.
- A link to Amazon or any other retailer listing Superwatches.
- A few hundred reviews on superwatches that are either published on a known platform or by a “qualified” user.
Which one of these would you click first? Would it be a surprise if I told you 2 out of 3 people running these searches would first click a review rather than a retailer’s link to buy a smartwach? I bet it’s not, and the reason is simple: we want to to know way before we buy and the best way is to read an article by someone who’s seen and used firsthand one of these.
Ergo…there are a lot of articles out there describing in detail what you want to know about devices or applications, and people writing them of course.
I hope this article helped a bit. You will notice that this article does not fall entirely in any of those categories as I’ve discussed both Tangible and Intangible. I believe this one falls into a minority category: articles trying to really explain the IoT. Or so I hope!
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