Coming Soon: Devices That Know Your Preferences

By Igor Ulis, CEO, Omnigon

There has been a shift over the years in the way content is consumed and how information is transmitted. Technological advancements are changing so rapidly that predicting what the landscape will look like over the next ten years is quite challenging.

At Omnigon, our clients engage us to help think through “what’s next,” ensuring they remain at the forefront of this evolving landscape so they can engage with their consumers in the most meaningful ways. Thanks in part to the consumption patterns of Millennials and Generation Z, our interaction with technology will continue to evolve.

Instant gratification is the basic driving principle behind consumer-focused technology today. When it comes to gadgets and devices, everything revolves around decreasing the time gap between “I want” and “I get.” We’ve seen this evolution play out over the last few years. To increase immediacy, content providers and distribution companies are experimenting with technology enabling them to connect directly with consumers. A prime example includes WWE and the NFL, two of our clients, who have launched Over-The-Top networks. This ensures consumers can receive the content they choose, on the device they prefer, at a time convenient for them.

It is not just companies across the sports, media and entertainment landscape that are focused on the direct-to-consumer model. We no longer have to leave our couch to get food; any meal will show up on our doorstep with just a few finger taps and swipes. If we’ve pre-entered our credit card information, we no longer have to raise our hand to hail a cab; a car will show up on our doorstep using geolocation functionality.

Although there have been great strides recently showing how mobile phones have raised the instant gratification bar, nothing will compare to what will happen next. Most of what’s available now is based on human-to-machine interaction. Phones require we launch the appropriate app and select a set of options to execute a transaction.

That will change soon as machines around us get smarter and become more aware of our behavioral preferences. For example, no longer will I need to tell my thermostat what temperature I like versus what temperature my wife likes. The thermostat will sense the presence of my phone and automatically adjust the temperature to my liking. Taking it a step further, my home will recognize that I’m in the vicinity and automatically tell the shades to come down half way, put the coffee maker on the ready and alert the refrigerator to defrost chicken for dinner.

This type of communication pattern between Internet-attached devices has been called by many different names, including the Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, Fog Computing and Cloud Computing. In reality, all these terms drive toward the same outcome. Everything we touch in our daily lives will soon understand something about us. Using biometrics, facial or voice recognition (or some yet-undiscovered way of telling humans apart), devices will learn and understand our preferences, behavior trends, social connections and likes and dislikes with the ultimate goal pre-empting “I want” with “here’s what you wanted.”

One reason it is hard to predict what the technology landscape will look like in 10 years is because we are not yet sure how this technological change will influence our content consumption habits. While the concept of the Internet of Things has been around for a while, and the premise is to help make our everyday lives easier, its effect is unclear and unproven. One thing we know, for sure, is that it won’t be too long until another technology appears on the horizon.