By 2020, it's projected that there will be more than 24 billion IoT devicesworldwide — an average of four devices per person. Over the next five years, roughly $6 trillion will be invested into IoT solutions, also known as connected devices and smart devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for devices with the ability to connect to the internet. Forming an internet-connected network, these devices contain embedded sensors that allow them to interact with, collect, and share data with other mobile and connected devices.
Examples of "IoT" devices include smartphones, fitness trackers, smartwatches, tablets, smart TVs, and self-driving cars. These devices are considered "smart" because they communicate with one another. For example, an iPhone can talk with an Apple Watch by sending and receiving text messages and/or emails. An Apple TV can connect with streaming channels, such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.
As users become more accustomed to interacting with smart devices, the questions and expectations we have for those devices will become deeper. As such, smart devices will need to provide accurate information. Virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant are becoming ingrained into daily life by making homes "smart." Amazon Echo is a particularly powerful IoT device because of "its ability to link to and control other devices." For example, if you link a Philips's Hue light bulb to the Echo, the Echo can turn the light on and off. Amazon Echo's virtual assistant, Alexa, can provide you with recipes and workouts, make lists, and help you search for information on the internet. You could ask Alexa an unbranded query such as, "where can I find pizza near me?" or a branded query like, "where is the closest Domino's Pizza to me?" and she will browse search engines to find the best answer for you.
Among advertising and marketing executives, IoT is viewed as one of the most important emerging technologies. In fact,as of 2017, 70 percent of retailers are investingin IoT technologies so they can improve in-store shopping experiences. For example, Walgreens tested a program that allowed customers to earn Balance Rewards points in exchange for steps. All customers had to do was sync up their fitness wearables. As IoT devices become increasingly intelligent, they will gain enough digital knowledge to deliver products and services right to consumers.
Today's digital experiences are intelligent. When you search online, you no longer get 10 static blue links on a page. Instead, you receive intelligent and direct answers. Intelligent search does not just include search engines, but now also includes smart devices, like digital assistants. You can now use voice search to ask Alexa what the weather is, where the nearest bank is, for recipe suggestions, and for food and restaurant suggestions.
As a global digital knowledge management platform, Yext helps businesses manage their digital knowledge across an ecosystem of publishers, so that businesses can provide their consumers with the most accurate data in moments of intent. Learn more about the Yext Answers Platform.