The Internet of Things (IoT) is, without a doubt, riding the “hype cycle:” Very steadily, the IoT is embarking on a long climb of ever-escalating expectations, a thrilling transition to leveling off at the top, and a screaming descent until the ride levels off again. From then on, life returns to normal, and reality sets in once again after the rush of adrenaline calms down — or in the IoT’s case, a new normal before the next ride.
Last weekend, I visited my local home improvement store to purchase a few items for a project I am working on at home. I wandered into the electrical-lighting products department, where, in the same aisle, I saw a showerhead display. Thinking that this placement was very odd, I decided to check it out – and lo and behold, the showerhead is Bluetooth-enabled! With this nifty addition, you can enjoy music from your tablet, smartphone, or anything else with Bluetooth connectivity in the shower.
I love my portable Bluetooth speaker on the road, but I never thought about music in the shower. We talk about disruptive technology every day, but this made me wonder if we are now in an era of invasive technology.
Like social media, e-mail, and real-time everything, the burden for drawing limits lies with the user. However, this showerhead also brings another case of the ubiquity of technology.
Imagine the ability to stream a TED Talk while showering, listen to books on tape through a streaming medium, and catch up on the news without cranking the volume on the TV down the hall and risking blowing out the speakers. But why stop there? Why not make the showerhead network-enabled?
As a loyal Fitbit user, I embrace IoT in my own life and monitor my health and sports activity through my smartphone in real time. Will this Bluetooth-enabled showerhead eventually “smart” and dynamically link to music and offer a truly interactive shower-time karaoke experience? Could our shower experience connect us to a community of budding vocalists? And will a Pokémon be there too?
Besides the entertainment aspect, there is an opportunity to link the “smart showerhead” to a smart home environment so we can monitor water use. This innovation would be an easy extension of the smart meters that utility companies, such as CenterPoint Energy, are leveraging today, creating massive amounts of Big Data to gain great insights and to predict consumption with real-time predictive analytics.
Perhaps it’s time to further refine this concept and look for a spot on “Shark Tank” to sell this to some forward-thinking venture capitalists. But more important, it’s clear that the journey to digital transformation is full of surprises.
To help businesses navigate this brave new world, we provide numerous components and a personalized roadmap to help identify and take advantage of a whole new series of options – limited only by creativity.