Consumer use of IoT foreshadows the directions of the wider IoT market, be that at work or civic services. It also gets more media attention, thereby shaping public perceptions and expectations.
A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, How People Are Actually Using the Internet of Things (metered paywall), builds on the authors’ notion of “living services” that Accenture’s service design company, Fjord, has been exploring.
Their key findings are that:
The data show that the most heavily used IoT programs are ones that make home life easier, more distinctive, and more pleasant. Respondents also show a big preference for services that don’t require them to go out of their way to make something work. People using the Internet of Things increasingly prefer interfaces that are more natural and less visible (and attention-sapping) than screens. In other words, they don’t want to type instructions on a tablet, interact with a device, or mess with settings on a cell phone to get what they want. Instead, they value these technologies as “living services” that anticipate their wants and act on them.
Interestingly, they classify what people want from IoT into four categories:
- Technology that extends security
- Apps that quantify the self
- Services that optimise our machines
- Creative ways to enhance daily experiences
Outside the home, people building IoT services should take a cue from the underlying preferences and behaviours that this study highlights. As the authors say, “personalized services that take up residence alongside us, so to speak, and learn from our behaviors—is context-agnostic.”