Some of you may have already seen the video “A Day Made of Glass” and you’re probably thinking that a day when information is readily available on any object wherever you go is not so farfetched.
Consumers are using their mobile devices to access content everywhere they go, and so the digital environment is constantly shifting to accommodate this consumer behavior. As technology expands, devices are getting smarter and smarter, and we will begin to see new opportunities in the way these connected devices will begin to change how people consume media.
Access Content on Any Surface
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get all your latest weather and news while getting ready in the morning without risking water damage to your mobile device? Imagine being able to access information in the shower, while washing your hands, or even doing the dishes. Well, a Japanese company called Seraku is making this a possibility with their prototype Android-powered mirror.
The mirror is hooked up to an Android tablet and then projects an interface onto the mirror. It uses RF (radio frequency) proximity sensors that detect where your hands are relative to the display and allows users to navigate and access different content without having to physically touch the surface. A user can check the weather, sports scores, water pressure and temperature as you are washing your hands, and even their weight with a networked scale built into the floor.
We have seen similar ideas such as Samsung’s Smart Window as we mentioned in our post about CES a few months ago. While the Seraku’s Android-powered mirror is still a prototype, this type of technology will revolutionize in-store displays and the way people get product information, and marketers should begin to examine ways they can use it.
Link Devices to Social for Accountability
More and more people are beginning to link their everyday lives to their social networks. When you go to a new restaurant you can check-into it via Foursquare or Facebook letting people know where you are; or people are constantly using apps like Instagram or Pinterest to upload photos to Twitter or Facebook to let people know what they are doing.
Meta Real, an eating rehab and weight-loss company, has been helping their clients to eat correctly for over 25 years; however, their biggest obstacle was staying in touch with them late at night. JWT São Paulo created a way for people to connect a refrigerator to social networks. The Virtual Fridge Lock is targeted towards those trying to stick to a diet. The magnetic device is attached to your refrigerator and a message is sent to your social networks whenever the fridge is opened late night.
SMS Controlled Devices
With a large penetration of mobile phones, SMS has become the easiest way to communicate with one another. But what if we were able to take SMS one step further and be able to communicate with different devices?
Seattle cloud texting company Zipwhip created Textspresso which is an espresso machine that can make you a cup of Joe with a simple text message. The machine can send and receive text messages, and it can also print personalized messages onto the coffee foam using edible ink. Users are able to text their coffee order to the device and it will brew it according to your taste and keep it fresh on a warming plate. The system uses an Android app, servo motors, Arduino, and a custom Canon printer.
Connected Devices Will Evolve in the Future
People are accessing a greater amount of content, especially with nearly 116 million smartphone users and about 55 million tablet users. These devices can be synced to your TV, game consoles, and cars; so a proximity responsive mirror or a device that alerts your friends of your late night fridge raids or even coffee that can be brewed with a simple text can very well be something we see in the near future.
Connected devices will be the key driver in how we send and receive information. Consumers are using a various number of devices to access content, and marketers will find it important to build digital strategies that complement all the technologies. These devices are constantly changing consumer behavior and marketers should be ready to step in with new strategies as this space continues to evolve.
Ivy Chang, 05.24.12