The Internet of Things, or the idea that all devices from cars to appliances can be connected, has been gaining popularity this year as companies add internet connections and connectivity options to all kinds of gadgets. However, the Internet of Me appears to have quietly arrived without much discussion at all.
What Is The Internet Of Me?
As the Accenture post on Wall Street Journal noted, The IOM is the idea that connectivity can be tailored to an individual person based on data collected about that individual. Many companies are already jumping on board with this trend as more and more consumers come to expect their devices to recognize them. The advent of wearable devices has been a major proponent of the IOM, as new watches and bands track the user's every move and store that data.
How Does It Affect Businesses
The vast amount of data out there on a particular person has created a need for companies from every sector to gather information on their customers. Companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) have famously already begun to do so, amassing huge amounts of information in order to create algorithms that know what kind of content a particular person would be interested in.
Netflix, Inc.(NASDAQ: NFLX) stores its members' watching preferences in order to provide recommendations they are most likely to enjoy. Apps like Foursquare help users navigate cities to have a personalized experience based on their friends' and their own preferences. That type of forward thinking has become the norm for consumers, so businesses who don't personalize their services are quickly falling behind.
How Does It Affect Consumers?
While consumers expect a high degree of personalization in today's world, the IOM creates questions about privacy. Data gathering practices at Facebook have been heavily criticized and the company is even being investigated for violating privacy laws in Europe. Many users are beginning to worry about the safety and security of their data, making information gathering more difficult for businesses.
Another concern has been the loss of choice and restriction of content. While it can be efficient to have search results and social media sites tailored to show users what they are most interested in, it could take away a discovery element that allows people to experience new things or change their tastes.
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