Migrations

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Migrations are a natural phenomenon and I’m starting to wonder if migrating to IoT is in our nature. Below are some migrations I’ve witnessed recently and some thoughts on what it will take to get the IoT migration underway.

  1. For the past 7 years, I have parked my car at Observatory Park and walked 8 blocks to Daniels College of Business. 3 weeks ago I was on the phone with my wife as I walked and  I noticed that there was an unusually large number of butterflies in the area. (Painted Lady butterflies to be exact.) It’s October! It would be strange to see this many during the spring, let alone October. I mentioned to my wife what I was seeing and she said that she had heard something on TV about how this was a phenomenon that they had seen on radar. (more details here. )
  2. Every winter seagulls come to Denver. I don’t see them any other time of the year. If the temperature is below freezing, you’ll see seagulls. (Yes. I’m in Denver and this makes no sense to me!)
  3. Since 2009, the population of Denver has increased by 300,000+. My kids and I play the “who can see the most license plates from other states” game sometimes when we’re in the car. (If you’re from Missouri now living here: please drive a little more carefully.)

The butterfly incident was like something out of a movie. I felt a quiet peacefulness. Seeing seagulls reminds me that I get to go snowboarding soon! More people moving to Denver means that traffic will get worse and I’ll miss some of the small town aspects of living here. It’s important to appreciate these migrations as natural patterns. They’re inevitable. The migration to IoT, however, may not be inevitable.

Facebook and Apple instigated the migration to IoT devices this summer – namely glasses – by filing patents (Facebook + Apple). Facebook specifically want’s you off of the mobile phone. They hate the fact that their business model rests on Apple’s/Google’s platform. (This was the only reason they threatened to build their own phone 5 years ago.)

If this migration does happen, it will take time. Having your glasses “do anything” is considerably more alien than having your watch do something.  (Snapchat has hundreds of thousands of unsold Spectacles.) The smartwatch will be the gateway for wearable tech but we’re still waiting for the “killer app” and that’s really the issue. We need to be mapping out the killer experience. The contextual experience. For me the best opportunity is travel. Once businesses help reduce travel friction using contextual updates to their smart watch, people will begin to understand what can/should happen.

The other approach to take is to have 13-15 yo kids, who wear glasses, be able to sync them so that Musical.ly, Snapchat and Instagram so that they see an update in the corner of their lenses when someone likes something they done/send them something. (Think dopamine.)

I’m curious to see how this migration unfolds . . .

By Michael Myers

I’m an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I’m currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf. I’m passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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