Connecting things together is what humans do. Combine that skill with the need to eat and drink gave rise to the first soft-drink vending machine connected to a campus network. No more need to leave your seat to find out if there was a cold Coke waiting for you. That was back in the 1980s and embedding computing power into real-world devices and connecting them to the Internet is now called the “Internet of Things” or IoT. In just a few years there will be billions of enabled devices connected to the Internet.
Joining the IoT party challenges product manufacturers to become service providers. A consumer buys the product, plugs it into the ‘net and subscribes to the service provided. There is a clear upside for the makers of things. They can establish a lasting customer relationship through the data collection and the subscription. That relationship can be carefully deepened and leveraged.