Thursday, February 12, 2015

Welcome to ‘Everyware’ computing

Our imaginative friends in the technology industry intend to make computing simpler and arguably more satisfying by making it more intuitive than ever. Here’s how: 

They will saturate our environment with vast arrays of computers and Internet-enabled sensors that will put all but the most technologically isolated individuals in a crossfire of constant monitoring, constant profiling, constant push notifications and constant behavioral analysis – so the process can be fine-tuned and repeated over and over again. 

The phenomenon is known variously as Ambient Computing, Pervasive Computing, Ubiquitous Computing or – my personal favorite – Everyware. So, let’s go with that. 

Everyware indeed may simplify our relationship with technology. Or it might snarl the wires of our wired lives even further. There are too many moving parts (as discussed in a moment) to predict exactly how Everyware will affect our personal lives and business. 

But ubiquitous computing seems likely to have major impact on the media business, because it will all but eliminate the intermediary relationship that media companies require to build the audiences they traditionally have sold to advertisers. 

Assuming Everyware materializes as envisioned by Silicon Valley’s savants, it spontaneously will deliver targeted information and entertainment, while at the same time enabling marketers to maintain persistent, direct and dynamic one-to-one relationships with individual consumers. 

In that event, what roles will be left to gate-keeping editors and the media companies that employ them? Publishers and broadcasters need to start focusing on this, so here are the trends to watch: 

:: Mobile Computing. From headlines to selfies to shopping, smartphones and tablets have become indispensible vehicles for delivering intimate and individualized computing experiences. And people love them. The average American spends just under three hours a day consuming mobile media, according to eMarketer.Com. Back in 2010, mobile use was 24 minutes a day. 

:: Wearable Devices. Although the Google Glass project seems to have lost some of its gloss, companies like Apple, Lumo Body Tech and Ralph Lauren are working on a variety of wearable, sensor-rich products that respectively pinpoint your location, check your posture and monitor your heart rate. Although no one is certain how wearables will be used and which will emerge as winners, various industry forecasters reckon that sales in this emerging market will grow from near insignificance today to between $20 billion and $50 billion by 2018 (see slide 8 here).  

:: Internet of Things. The Nest thermostat is perhaps the best-known example of an Internet-connected device that matches your environment to your behavior to ensure comfort and energy efficiency. But a host of increasingly sophisticated in-home utilities are being rushed to market, as exemplified by Echo, a voice-activated ambient device from Amazon that searches the web, plays music and, naturally, helps you shop. Forrester Research predicts that the number of smart sensors in homes, businesses and vehicles will leap eightfold to 25 billion units by 2020. That’s a lot of smart Crock-Pots

:: Cloud Computing. Thanks to intense competition among Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other heavy hitters seeking to outsource computing for clients of every size, the costs of storing and crunching data will continue diving for the foreseeable future. The frenetic growth of cloud computing will lead to a fourfold increase to 6.5 zetabytes of the amount of data stored around the world by 2018, according to Cisco Systems. Read on to see how it will be used: 

:: Hyper-Personalization. The Big Data archived in the cloud contains all the bits and pieces of information captured about you through the above means, including but not limited to age, gender, residence, income, credit rating, family status, reading habits, commuting routines, social networks and shopping patterns. Depending how generously you share information on the web and how avidly you participate in frequent-shopper programs, the enduring and growing volume of information about you can be quite personal and granular, ranging from your preferred toothpaste to your demonstrated driving efficiency to your inferred sexual proclivities. 

:: Digital Advertising. To put the right offer in front of the right person in the right place at the right time, marketers aggressively are shifting their expenditures to the digital media, because you can’t achieve the same precision, efficiency and immediacy with print or broadcast advertising. By 2019, the sums spent on digital marketing will double to more than $100 billion from today’s level, according to Gartner Research. Digital ad spending surged 17% in 2013 to a record $42.8 billion, topping the sums spent on television for the first time, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. The trade group said digital ad spending grew another 15% in the first half of 2014, so this looks like a durable trend. 

Although the ambient-computing environment is fluid and complex, the mounting array of evidence suggests that Everyware could change Everything for the media and advertising businesses. Now is the time to start paying attention.  

© 2015 Editor & Publisher


Blogger Ddddddffre said...

IoT is going to provide us with torrents of information about everything and everyone and, as a direct consequence, intermediaries capable of making sense of all that data are going to have a bright future. It is explicitly not true that newspapers will be cast aside by people with wallets. Just the opposite. Extracting facts from data is level one ability, extracting narratives from facts is a level two ability, and one people will pay good money for. Especially people who are personally involved with the creation of those datum turned facts turned narrative in thre first place.

We can't let ourselves be crumudgeons when faced with dislocating change. Broadly considered, newspapers are in the buisness of divining and reporting truths relevant to their reader's lives. Readers have neither the time nor resources to parse reality as it is and they'll be less able to once IoT is turned fully on.

The need for 'middlemen' who can separate signal from noise, consolidate, correlate, gate, reduce, map, connect and provide finally provide meaning is only going to intensify.

Knew a kid in uni who said, and I quote, 'this whole internet thing is going to blow over'. Why did his mind lead him to this conclusion? Really? Because he loved viynl records and saw digital as a bankrupting of his investment.

Speaking of bankruptcy, an earlier column here wondered about AI. To get a good metric regarding AI's actual worth and ability, observe the condition of IBM, home of Big AI. They seem to be in some kind of financial Jeopardy! of late, despite their incalculable - and I use that word deliberately- investment in AI and their substantial software patent portfolio.

It's actually exactly true that any employed reporter is in less danger f losing his job than any AI researcher at IBM.

The first sign of death for a tech company is denying the magnitude of their layoffs. The second sign is the layoffs. The third sign is attempting to stem the red ink tide by grousing up cash through the device of suing other companies for software patent infringement.....

The death watch goes on.....

9:47 PM  

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