5 Corporate IoT Predictions for 2017

This week at the annual National Retail Federation’s event, Corporate IoT took center stage as the next big thing driving digital strategy in 2017.

At this year’s event, the “cool” narrative of the Internet of Things was overshadowed by the practical business implications of its application. This is what drove footfalls to stalls promising innovations such as trackable tags on clothing items that can map the journey a shopper takes from the point of interest to conversion. Philips Lighting showcased sensor based LED lighting that claims to be capable of precisely “sensing” where are shopper is by talking to the tagged devices around it. Samsung showcased a similar variant, but with heat maps.

These are just some of the innovations in the retail space, but the following represent our top five predictions for corporate IoT:

Virtual Reality
We ran an activation last year at GITEX for ASUS, using augmented reality to drive footfall. While it been the clutter breaking highlight for the gaming industry and activation industry as well, VR has started to gain an interest from media and tourism industries as well. While the media will look to VR as the next generation for channeling not just content, but an immersive experience, the tourism & hospitality industry will yearn to stand out by providing prospective guests a preview into their experiences. The same can gradually apply to the real estate industry for open houses, giving realtors access to a number of interested parties, without having to compromise on the limited space at their listings.

Digital Assistants
Two weeks ago we prophesized that voice search would be one of the top search formats in 2017. A pocket industry that has emerged has been digital voice assistants, in and out of homes. Because of possible incompatibility between the tech behind the mobile assistant and IoT consumer electronic brand, consumers will expect a single voice as the standard. Companies eager to be part of the digital voice ecosystem will need to collaborate with either Google, Amazon or Microsoft to be at the top of the recommendation and collaboration engine for their voice searches. It would serve companies well to sign up for any pilot programs initiated by first to market digital voice assistant companies and establish themselves as a product partner for future commercial goals. Better safe than sorry!

Push Against Self-Driving Cars
Once upon a time, the Candlemakers Guild pushed for a ban on lightbulbs, the horse cabbies lobby pushed for a ban on Ford and the learned few scribes pushed for a ban on the printing press. It will be human nature that will push for a ban on autonomous vehicles and all tech that aims to replace human errors. We expect government regulations and lobbying to be a big part of 2017, well ahead of the realistic timeframe wherein autonomous cars will be a norm. While this reflects a change in the West, it won’t take long for any positive effects to have their consumer-expectation effects on the GCC region. And it has always been the case – we’re not that far behind in adopting the new.

Conversions via Chatbot
With enough practice, chatbots will soon replace pop-ups as the forefront tech that evokes an on-site purchase, whether this is a travel booking or a flower order. By analyzing pixels and tags, chatbots messages and cross-selling advice can be even more personalized, ushering in a new era of C2 focused conversions. The possibilities in Corporate IoT are far reaching, from speeding up order placement to tracking its shipping.

Revenge of the Nerds
Drawing in over 100 million viewers worldwide, eGaming or eSports has steadily become part of the mainstream media. Digital natives tune in to watch professional gamers battle it out in the most famous games, offering advertisers the ability to be contextually present at the moment the gamer’s (digital athletes) and spectators want the edge in a contest. In the world of Corporate IoT, digital display companies will be urged to develop sensors that can track eye movement of the audiences and contextually showcase the brand of an advertiser whose value proposition matches an in-game objective.

Remember, only 16 of the Fortune 500 companies from the 1900’s are still around. Stay ahead of the game to ensure your company has a future.

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Ahsan Khalid

About the Author Ahsan Khalid

Ahsan Khalid is the director of technology at Centric DXB. He is a trusted partner for clients as well as internal cross-disciplinary teams to ensure quality relationships. He can be reached on ahsan.khalid@centric.ae

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