Today there are 17.1 billion IoT devices in operation. This coupled with rapid progress in machine learning abilities, has paved the way for a new technology IoB (Internet of Behavior). An extension of IoT, data is collected from multiple IoT devices and modelled to gain insights into users’ behaviour, interests, and preferences, Existing technologies like facial recognition, location tracking, big data are used in combination and mapped to behavioral events. According to McKinsey, behavioral insights are critical to unlocking an 85% growth in sales and a 25% increase in gross margin.
IoB provides organisations with invaluable insights into user behaviour and the psychological variables involved in decision making and takes the guesswork out of how to enhance customer experience, improving efficacy and quality of marketing strategies, and changing the way companies engage with customers. With IoB, businesses can bring about innovation that builds greater businesses. Needless to say, IoB will be at the center of building new experiences for the world.
Organisations currently are using IoB to help steer behavior to achieve the preferred outcomes. At the workplace, it could be used to encourage desired behavior. For example, to monitor compliance with the current health protocols, organizations might use computer vision to see whether employees are wearing masks or use thermal imaging for monitoring rise in body temperature. Similarly, sensors/RFID tags can be used to monitor other hygiene protocols like washing hands, disinfecting/ sanitising spaces. Facial recognition systems can also be used to measure effectiveness of employees working from home. Uber, for example, uses IoT data about drivers, traveller locations, and preferences to reimagine the end-user experience.
In fact, as per Gartner report, soon IoB will become a part of our daily lives and work and by year-end 2025 over half of the world’s population will be subject to at least one IoB program, whether it be commercial or governmental, while privacy laws try to catch up.
Privacy and The Internet of Behavior(IoB)
On the downside, IoB is vulnerable to cyber threats like access to sensitive data that discloses consumer behavior patterns. Sensitive data like property access codes, delivery routes, even bank access codes can fall into wrong hands and cause irreparable damage. Targeted ‘Phishing’ is also another possibility.
While we are still to formulate stronger/stricter privacy and data usage, cybersecurity protocols and laws to protect us from intrusive data collection, businesses need to be cautious as well as proactive within their domain and follow strong data safety guidelines. They need to strengthen their existing IT setups and invest in cybersecurity training and awareness programs to help stay ahead of the curve.
IoB is still in its early days, and with the COVID-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst, organizations are slowly realizing the importance of IoB and how it can help re-define human experiences. While this technology can help businesses improve their relationship with their customers, what remains to be seen is where the line between enhanced customer experience and intrusion is drawn. In today’s oversharing economy, it remains to be seen whether this will be a boon or a bane.