/ Weekly Takeaways

Amazon will be in your next toaster, Apple is watching you and John Hancock now requires you to wear a fitbit

Amazon's new chip will connect anyone's products to Alexa

Amazon announced a number of new products this week including an internet connected microwave, but the biggest news was about a new chip that any manufacturer can use in their devices. The small circuit board has a built-in antennae that will allow everything from toasters to pencil sharpeners (the future is now!) to connect via wifi to Alexa. Read more here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazons-new-microwave-alexa-please-defrost-my-chicken-1537469765

Key Takeaway

What better way to bring IoT (Internet of Things) to life than to offer companies (virtually) free tech that will connect otherwise dumb products to the internet. This is an absolutely brilliant move on Amazon's part to accomplish two things:

  1. Entrench their tech in everyone's hardware
  2. Expand the Alexa ecosystem

Point number two is a huge one, and a good reason to pay attention to where IoT and Smart Home are going.

Apple updates their Terms and Policies to include Watching and Reading your device usage for "Spam" activity

A legal watchdog caught a new update to Apple's terms across many of their "i" devices like the iPhone and iWatch that specifies your agreement to them snooping on your phone usage and email activity. The new inclusion is meant to help them catch email and phone scammers.

Key Takeaway

We've gotten to a point in society where one small group of us is looking at these things and saying "Whoa! You're not giving me my privacy!", and a much larger remainder who simply doesn't care. We're not going to stop using iPhones or iWatches because of user terms. In turn, this means that unless the larger remainder asks to stop this, our devices will continue to police us.

John Hancock (UK) is incentivizing policy holders to wear fitness trackers

John Hancock has started providing free FitBits to new policy holders in the UK, with the intent of offering reductions in premiums to customers that put them on and provide their data. See the full story here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/john-hancock-insurance-nudges-customers-to-wear-fitbits

Key Takeaway

The story of insurance companies getting into IoT goes back a few years now. In Canada we've had a number of companies provide Telematics devices for cars to track our driving behaviours. It's not surprising to see that health or life insurance providers want the same insight as to whether they can place you in a "low risk" pool or not. But when you put all the pieces together, we're seeing a very interesting narrative unfold.

Amazon wants us to all have chips in all our things, Apple is getting pretty bold and open about how they're using our data, and century old companies are asking for more data in exchange for lower costs. We're here. We've accepted our data overlords. And so to all marketers out there - don't fear the privacy police. Embrace them - be open about what you're doing, be OK with it, but let's collectively make people's lives better with it.

Amazon will be in your next toaster, Apple is watching you and John Hancock now requires you to wear a fitbit
Share this

Subscribe to Jon Litwack