It’s no secret that cyberspace and the real world are merging. Over $1 trillion in retail sales were directly connected to e-commerce in 2012. What’s more, over than 50% of mobile device users say their smartphones and tablets, which are veritably small, powerful computers light years more advanced than the PC of 2000, are their primary ways to access the Internet.
Being connected via mobile devices is so important to the 64% of Americans who own a smartphone that an astounding 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed out of fear of missing calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.
Now, Google is making a move to become the best creative agency involved in the merger. The monolithic tech company is providing a $500,000 grant and access to its Internet of Things designers’ technologies to Carnegie Mellon University in order to help it become a testing ground for Internet of Things solutions.
The top creative agency’s plan is to help outfit the campuses’ everyday items with wireless sensors to help collect data, and provide reactionary features. Everything from coffee makers to bus stops will hopefully become connected to the web. The university and Pittsburgh official hope that these technologies will then eventually be used throughout the city.
The idea is to create an Internet of Things network. For example, an alarm clock will tell the coffee maker to start, which can then tell a car to start the AC if it’s summer, or warming up if it’s winter.
What’s interesting about the project are the repercussions. Not only is there a lot to gain, but there’s also a lot to lose. According to McKinsey’s most recent Internet of Things economic value-add forecasts, the fact that too few devices are interoperable is an $8 trillion problem.
At the same time, the Internet of Things could add $11 trillion to the global economy by 2020 by making industries more efficient, reducing energy costs, and improving infrastructures.