The Bears: Six ways the Internet of Things may remain flat this year.
Continuing the conversation about the Top 12 Bullish and Bearish Predictions for 2016, here the final 2 Bearish predictions.
5. Autonomous cars may see continued incremental testing, but 2016 won’t go down as the “year of self-driving.”
Perhaps the biggest clue that we are but at the very beginning stage of life with autonomous vehicles – despite their having already logged millions of miles on U.S. roadways – is the government’s announcement only a few weeks ago of a 10-year, $4 billion proposal to accelerate the development and adoption of vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects.
None of those pilot projects will come to bear this year, of course.
Rather, 2016 will be the year that policy wonks start getting together to fashion a) performance standards for autonomous vehicles, b) testing and analysis methods, and c) state-level policies that push toward consistency on a national level. In other words, the discourse will take a turn away from technology innovation this year.
2017 may be a different story altogether, however, where we’re keeping an interested eye on Volvo’s plans to put 100 self-driving cars on the road to ferry their owners through daily life in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Check out the VOLVO video HERE.
The best we can hope for in 2016 at home is for a skeptical the American public to get more exposed to the ways autonomous tech can work, and the benefits to be gained from a self-driving world.
6. IoT’s impact on marketing may turn into fool’s gold.
We talked in our six IoT “bullish” predictions about the positive impact likely to be felt this year by field service professionals, and a coming to the forefront of products that don’t only self-diagnose their own potential malfunctions, but actually contact technical support to enable faster, almost magical, customer service. This is an area that is making real progress and should see good traction this year, and it stands to affect marketing messages and differentiation claims for a wide range of consumer products.
Marketers do, however, need to be mindful of taking the message of “connected” too far. With the success of the on-demand economy and the “Uberization” effect, we could be setting ourselves up for a redux of the dot-com bubble – let’s call it a “bubble of overstated convenience” – whereby marketers are taking liberties to magnify the common trifles of life into hardships that must be addressed by the latest one-touch mobile service. Fast Company makes a wise point it its piece about a startup trend that’s seated in minutia: Minor errands just aren’t huge life obstacles.
Those of us who came through the dawn of dot-com era might recognize the early signs of history repeating itself. Services for packing your suitcase (dufl.com), come-to-you refueling (wefuel.com) and “making it easy to eat” (spoonrocket.com) look an awful lot like Kosmo.com and Pets.com, even if they’re presented in a different wrapper. Marketers could do worse than recall the fates of those venture-backed busts, and adjust accordingly.
In other words, the IoT-driven marketing refrain of “every day, in every way, the things that matter to our lives are coming to us” has plenty of potential to backfire when those being marketed to realize that the process of accomplishing life isn’t so bad, either.