Commentators have been highlighting for nearly a decade now the strategic options that the Internet of Things (IoT) has made available to businesses. But just imagine the possibilities that a fully mature, customer-centric IoT based on consumer behavior insights could open up. Gartner calls this blue ocean of opportunity the Internet of Behaviors (IoB).
As Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner noted, “Over the long term, it is likely that almost everyone living in a modern society will be exposed to some form of IoB that melds with cultural and legal norms of our existing predigital societies.”
Only time will tell how correct this forecast is. But whatever the ultimate influence of behavioral insights and the shape of this future market, it is clear that the earlier companies are in exploring the prospects that IoB could bring to the real estate sector, the better positioned they may be to seize those opportunities when they fully mature.
A Wave of ‘IoB’ Opportunities Awaits
Let’s dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” first. IoB is not a unicorn that arose from nowhere but the logical outcome of IoT evolution. Consider that the focus with the IoT has been to combine various devices and ensure their management from a single access point. In turn, the Internet of Behaviors is based on the analysis of data obtained from sensors. IoB speaks to something of a synergy between technology and behavioral science.
The Influence of Consumer Psychology: Why It Can’t be Ignored
IoB is just starting to gain traction. Businesses are discussing not so much actual case studies as the dos and don’ts of this technology implementation. Let’s consider some of these aspects.
- Advanced customer data. Due to IoB, companies will be able to collect even more accurate sensitive information about how clients use their Enterprises might learn their habits, track locations, etc.
- Adaptability. Real-time data about complex buying behavior will allow adaptation to new market conditions within a compressed timetable. For companies, it means meeting demand on time and going beyond the competition.
Current Drawbacks and Blockers
- Cybersecurity issues. Great opportunities mean great responsibility. Companies have terabytes of sensitive data in their hands. The business must make every effort to prevent identity theft. But given massive information flows, arriving at appropriate protections can seem like an all-consuming task. Moreover, enterprises feel pressured because of strict state regulations they have to comply with. This is a major challenge that can cause executives to think twice about the feasibility of technology implementation. The result is often that a majority are afraid to focus on IoB capabilities, stopping at IoT ones.
- Ethical. To what extent can a company afford to manage its customers’ lives? Operating data hidden from the prying eye, a business has the power to push people towards solutions, to offer its own scenarios of actions. On the one hand, it might be convenient. But it might also be depriving customers of their right of choice since enterprises impose their opinion. The extent to which this is acceptable to both parties and where the middle ground is – remains a mystery.
How The Real Estate Domain Can Benefit From Upgraded IoT Solutions: Usage Scenarios
Industry media outlets and thought leaders have already highlighted the capabilities of the Internet of Behaviors in retail and marketing areas. In turn, we propose to consider IoB through the prism of real estate. The industry is one of the most active users of the IoT. As such, can be expected to be equally involved in Internet of Behaviors use. Let’s see what opportunities householders, office employees, and developers can open up for themselves.
Since facilities owners are the central point of the concept, they stand to get the most from IoB. But the Internet of Behaviors also makes it possible to completely adjusting a smart house to the habits and needs of those who live in it. Devices can memorize settings and reproduce them without additional customization. The IoB enables the real estate developer to predict customer behavior and adapt software settings following it.
For example, using face recognition technology and previously obtained data, the IoT sensors can regulate the air temperature, degree of humidification, brightness, etc., considering the convenience of specific residents at a specific time of the day/year.
Office work has its “pleasant” peculiarities. The never-ending search for documents, the struggle for meeting rooms, the smell of someone’s lunch from the corporate kitchen might all immediately come to mind.
The IoB usage allows companies to make their offices convenient for every employee.
Due to an IoT app, you can easily find the desired document on your desk or in shared storage. The system will self-book your favorite conference room for weekly meetings. In the morning, a coffee machine will work at full strength, and during lunchtime, hoods will ensure the absence of odors. All devices turn on only when necessary, considering the behavior of each person in the building. Say goodbye to high operational costs and extra energy consumption.
Real estate developers
This segment will have the greatest commercial benefit from the Internet of Behaviors. Companies can analyze customer behavior in existing facilities to build new ones based on actual knowledge and predictions. This approach will minimize the risk of mistakes and create a lasting customer experience.
For some, smart buildings might be considered too expensive a proposition today. But consider that the current price of new facilities will mushroom. Following Mordor Intelligence, the smart homes market value was $79.13 billion in 2020, and it is expected to enjoy extraordinary growth — reaching $313.95 billion by 2026 by one estimate. It’s an impressive valuation that reflects the fact that everybody wants to live and work in convenient conditions.
As discussed earlier, IoB is capable of cutting energy consumption and expanding opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration. For example, analyzing customer behavior, a developer may engage a mobile coffee shop. On weekdays, it will treat office workers with croissants and coffee, and on weekends, it will do the same near residential buildings.
Despite business concerns, the Internet of Behaviors’ capabilities are too tempting to be ignored. Moreover, the foundations have already been laid by the Internet of Things. All that’s left is to eat the cake. To seize the opportunity, companies need to develop the right strategy for data management, focus on cybersecurity and stay on top of regulatory updates.
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