As the Internet of Things continues to become more mainstream, and auto-refilling and contextual recommendations become part of our everyday life, marketers will need to translate their offerings to become more passive—yet effective. Brands will be racing to put sensors into their products to track movements and consumption, and products will be able to communicate directly with consumers. Although these ideas are not new, they finally seem plausible and not so far off.
Consumers are starting to truly believe in a future where refrigerators have touch screens that tell you exactly what’s inside, how much you’ve spent on food, what you’re running low on, and according expiration dates. Something’s expired? The red blinking light will warn you. Time to finish off that wine? The accompanying microsensor will tell you.
Outside of the kitchen, tires will tell you when it’s time for rotation or replacement, LED light-bulbs will be WiFi-enabled, and front doors will be locked from a smartwatch. Ultimately, products around your house will be able to tell you when they need to be swapped out, and there will be no buttons to click or websites to visit; the product will be the distribution channel. All you need to do is say yes.
With the increasing integration of sensors and tracking devices, quotidian objects will transform from appliances and decor to functional means of communication between brand and consumer. Finally, brands will be speaking directly to their purchasers—quite literally.