The term “connected home” used to be the buzz-worthy phrase that experts threw around. Then there was the “Internet of things.” The interesting thing is that these two phrases have come together to form the Connected You. And it all centers on WEARABLES. Whether it’s a FuelBand, an Up, an iWatch doesn’t really matter. You’re now connected 24/7 to the home and the Internet of things. Think about it. The WEARABLE knows when you’re awake, asleep, just exercised or sitting around on the couch rotting away. It knows when you have walked into a room. It knows when you leave the room. It could conceivably know whether you are happy, sad or having a massive heart attack. And the things it can trigger to happen are vast and complex. Here is a typical day for the new Connected You.
You wake up – your WEARABLE knows you are awake – your phone says, “good morning” and starts to go over the day’s appointments. The shades automatically open. The WEARABLE notifies the thermostat that you are soon to be blanketless and turns up the heat … and when you leave the house, it will turn it down. Coffee starts brewing in your connected pot. Your virtual Starbucks barista says “Good Morning,” with way too much pep, which makes you need the coffee even more. The television in your bedroom will turn on and go to the station you always watch at that hour. It is smart. … It will know. You will need to be quick and get up before the wife or the TV will be confused and go to her morning show … and we don’t want that. It’s OK though, because your TV will simply put up a message that says, “The downstairs TV is available for CNN,” or whatever you watch.
Of course your TV will have a great deal of messages for you like, “Hey, there’s a new Netflix series. If you can watch the entire season today, we’ll send you a free bottle of Tide or five Bitcoins. Get 50 of your friends to like us and get a free On Demand movie.”
If you happen to be wearing an MYO on your wrist, you’ll be able to wave at the TV and change the channel, turn it off, or shoot down the volume so you don’t have to hear the girls from The View. If there were still newspapers, your DRONE would have delivered it by now – but there aren’t, so your computer (which, of course, knows you’re awake) has turned itself on and put up whatever news site you look at first, unless you don’t live with anyone – then it will put up some “other” site.
Remember Star Trek, when the doors would open by themselves all the time? If you have your WEARABLE on and you’re an early adopter, this is possible now. There are any number of things that can trigger actions for the connected you. I have what is called a Smart Things Hub, which is working toward all of this. Right now, I have a presence detector on my key ring that alerts my home when I arrive and can trigger things like lights going on and off, alarms, appliances, doors unlocking – really anything with electric power. It also notifies me if any of my WINE cooling units goes above a certain temperature or when someone opens the door to get any of my WINE from the cooling unit. Anyone reaching for my WINE triggers an alarm and a DRONE strike.
As you leave the house, your WEARABLE is tracking your steps, location, how vigorously you’re walking, running, driving or crawling to wherever you are headed. Of course, you might not be driving – they say cars will be able to drive you by 2020. That way you can watch even more YouTube cat videos because you’ll be able to do it while driving. Of course, your Louboutins could have sensors in them as well. They might tell you, “You have walked too far in your Louboutins. The red is wearing off. Stop and look sexy before all is lost.”
Most likely you will at least have two devices on you that are communicating with everything else in the universe – your phone and your WEARABLE. With the right chip in your WEARABLE, you won’t need a credit card. You can just wave your wrist at the person or robot at the counter. Window-shopping will get really weird, though, because the window will change to stuff that is right only for you. Which probably means an overweight window display. And you will be able to wave at the window and a DRONE will show up wherever you are in the street and drop the thing you just purchased directly on your head. The skies will be filled with DRONES carrying big-screen TVs and washers/dryers, ugh. And, oh – DRONE PETS. That’s a drone that basically follows you everywhere you go, which could lead to DRONE LOVE, which is two DRONES that join up and dance to the music you like and other weird crap.
How many things can you be connected to with your phone and your WEARABLE? It boggles the mind really. Everything from your home and every electronic device in it, to your car to billboards, to streetlights, to your DRONE, to the iPad menu in the restaurant, to the shelves and products in the grocery story, to your clothes, shoes, hats, whatever. And with the kind of profiles you can put in phones and WEARABLES, you don’t really have to do much. Devices will take from your profile and even learn your habits. Once the device communicates with your device, it will trigger things to happen. Once your cereal on the shelf is screaming, “They’re GRRRRReat,” when you get close, you’ll be sick of all that.
Parties – say you go to one. Your phone will alert you to the other WEARABLES and what is going on with them. For instance, there might be a beautiful woman or man who has a higher heart rate around you. Your phone will send you an alert and your WEARABLE camera pin will mark that moment in the constant video of your life being recorded. Then, you can go home later and print a reasonable facsimile of her/him/it with your 3D printer. This isn’t really that far off – you can 3D print your penis as a sex toy today if you like. Someone may be practicing making out with your 3D printed head right now – in his/her basement (feel free to use that as a movie idea).
But that’s really just the beginning of creating things yourself. The Smart Things Hub I spoke of earlier is a crowdfunded product from Kickstarter. Another product is littleBits. With littleBits, you can take your 3D printed head and easily ad electronics to it and make the eyes light up for a more realistic experience or make the mouth move when someone comes close.
Then there’s MIND CONTROL. That’s right, MIND CONTROL. There may come a day when you can actually control all of these devices, limbs, even people, with your mind. Think about it. On second thought … DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.
And, of course, there will be the RETROS. Those are the people who will not be connected. They are keeping it real. They are taking Polaroids, reading actual books, wearing regular glasses instead of Google Glasses. They have a dog instead of a smart home. They have real friends. They are 3D printing with clay – using their hands. And we hate them. My phone will eventually alert me when they are around and I will send them special hate messages using my MIND CONTROL.
In the end, the future is really about connections. Not just how you are connected to the world via your WEARABLE and your smartphone. But how you and others begin to connect the innovations and innovators that appear every day. The ability to connect DRONES, WEARABLES, apps, littleBits, Home Automation, Foursquare, Facebook, MeCams, Learning Computers and yes, even, MIND CONTROL, is creating a new future where innovation is everywhere just looking for another collaborator.
In marketing, we’ve been doing this for a long time – trying to connect people and technology with our brands. But now, the open nature of the Internet and the ease at which connections are made is driving innovation and breaking down the barriers to just about everything. Enjoy – you may see that flying-car future any day now and it will probably fly itself.