I took part in the Digital Catapult Advisory Meeting this afternoon and we were presented an exam question: How do you sell #iot to the average man/woman?
Here’s my suggestions of things to say to people who ask this in the pub (note: this will possibly never happen):
– Making sure your grandfather can stay healthy & independent in his own home longer because we can track his blood sugar level, whether he’s fallen, how long its been since he’s talked to someone else all remotely, engaging NHS, social care services and local communities at the right time. Don’t think about it as tracking, think about it as caring.
– Support homeless children and adults and women in domestic abuse situations have access to help quicker because we know where they are when they need help with sensors and GPS tracking.
– Helping you and your children manage your asthma & allergies better because city councils can tell what the level of pollution is on busy streets with sensors attached to street lamps. So pedestrian only areas can be planned for, or transport alternative offered dynamically to you by apps like CityMapper.
– Help improve your work environment and eyesight if you work with computers by measuring the environment you work in and your posture reminding you when to take breaks too.
– Let you know quickly if your house is going to be flooded.
These are simple, but if we can’t convince people like my mother that the internet of things isn’t some kind of job-killing technology-driven-corporate-led move to destroy society, we’ll never get the support we need in the UK to innovate. If you have more, do add them to the comments!
I’m biased, but our Oxford Flood Network project is quite a compelling example that people can immediately grasp. They’re increasingly being told they’ll live in “smart cities” by the media, with no real idea what that means except automated parking fines and more CCTV.
By allowing individuals to see the devices it demystifies the technology and gets them thinking about where it could be installed and how it links to flooding. Contributing to the network allows them to shape what the IoT is to them by applying it to their own needs.
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