The iOT And An India Of Things
By Harish Bijoor
All of us have heard of it by now. The era of the iOT or the is here. Some marketing and technology evangelists have dubbed it an era of the iOE or the Internet OF EVERYTHING even. An era where the Internet as we know it becomes incidental. So incidental,that we even forget the way the Internet of today exists and we start co-living with the Internet as if it did not exist at all. An where everything is literally governed by the Internet and an era wher you do not go to the Internet but the Internet comes to you. And eventually an era where the Internet is a part of you and are a part of the Internet at large. A point of time when you will not know where you end and where the ubiquitous Internet begins even.
Ouch! That sounds bizarre. Painful even. Intrusive for sure.
The iOT is a productised evolution of what began as a service. Let me trace it's history. In the very beginning we lived in an era where one person spoke to another and made friends physically. If you had friends, you possibly had ten of them at maximum, and you spent time with them when you could. You had enough time on your hands. So much so that you could meet, talk for long hours over a cup of coffee or an even more exciting beverage, you could go to the movies, play a game of cricket on Sunday and maybe do lots more.
And then time became a scarce commodity. Time stopped being a commodity even. Time today has become a very important part of consumer currency. The consumer has two things on hand today, money and time. Both are valuable currencies. Time is something that you cannot earn back. Time is something that you can only spend. It is limited and cannot be topped up at your nearest telecom re-charge outlet. Money on the other hand can be spent and earned. While time is God-given and limited without top-up, money is that much more flexible. Consumers then value time more than money. They should.
When you don't have enough time to spend, what do you do? You look for ways and means to keep those friends of yours, with means and devices. In comes the telephone as an instrument, and wow! You are able to keep the conversations going, even without being out there physically at your favourite 'Adda'. Yes, it is nicer to be there physically, but when you cannot, a lovely conversation with your friends on the phone will do. As time passed, in came phone, and you could carry these conversations with you wherever you went. The machine(in this case the mobile phone) intervened and life was made more comfortable. Still good. You were still in touch with your ten friends. You were now in touch with your friends not 1:1 physically, but virtually. Sub-optimal and a compromise, but still good for you. Out here, you were using a machine(the landline or mobile phone) to intervene and continue the contact. You used your mobile handset and dialled your friend and your friend used her mobile phone and picked up the call. This was what I will call human-to-human conversation facilitated by the machine and the connectivity possible between those two machines due to the intervention of the telecom service provider. This is what we do today.
In comes the era of the Internet then. In comes the ability for people to send e-mails to one another at the basic level. These emails are sent by you using a machine(your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone) and your friend and maybe thousands of them even, receive it when they open their e-mails using the machines at their disposal. This is less intrusive than the mobile call. In many ways it is permission-oriented communication at its best. If someone wants to open the email you sent them, they can. If they don't want to, they can press the delete button. And this is surely the era of mass contact possibility. One email could touch thousands for sure. In came social media then. In came Facebook, Twitter, Tagged, and all the other exciting social contact mediums you use openly and at times using the confidence and trusted space of your bedroom or bathroom alike. Out here, you could continue conversations in an interactive manner. Instead of having just ten friends, you could have a hundred. Geography is history. The new geography of your friendship was the virtual space of the social media you were using. This then was the early emergence of 1:Many communication between one human being and maybe a hundred others. Again this was machine facilitated. Again this was permission led. The exciting part of this is the fact that people do not have physical friends anymore. The friends are as virtual as the bits and bytes that help you use the computer. Data then: an average youngster below the age of 25 in has 321 friends on The social mediums of his choice, all added up. This includes Facebook, and the three other mediums they co-habit and inhabit. In Bengaluru this number today stands at 316. Ouch! This is still 1:Many communication, still facilitated by two machines operated by two human beings talking to one another through the use of data and text. Nice.
More exciting things to come? What is this iOT all about?
Wait. Let me stop. This is the day and age of brevity and I have gone on too long in this piece. That is the subject of my next installment. We are in the cusp stage of the iOT. I will tread that path next fortnight.
Till then, enjoy those physical friend you still meet at your favourite hangout. Hangout till technology will allow you to.
Harish Bijoor is a brand-strategy specialist & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
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