Will the Internet of Things Make Us Dumb?

As CES wrapped in early January, all things shiny, cool and tech were on the top of many people’s minds, from the consumers who want to buy them, to the journalists who write about them, and to the marketers who must, simply put, market them.

Brace yourself, more useless smart devices are comingAs CES wrapped in early January, all things shiny, cool and tech were on the top of many people’s minds, from the consumers who want to buy them, to the journalists who write about them, and to the marketers who must, simply put, market them.

Even my publisher stopped by my desk to get my opinion on the Picobrew, given my experience as a homebrewer. While I still need to do more reading, I’ve had a tough time finding an explanation for how the device actually works and if it brews well, but I did find an article likening it to the Keurig of beer, and well, gross.

Picobrew aside (I swear Drew, I’ll wrap up my research and get you a formal opinion by Spring at the latest), Smart Devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been on my mind ever since seeing the following tweet from Sally Ekus, a cookbook-focused literary agent who I follow:

I like tech. I love to cook. And I’m a millenial, so I clicked on Sally’s link and dove into Allrecipe’s “Measuring Cup Trend Report,” (opens as a PDF) featuring information from its 2016 Smart Kitchen Survey.

Some of the report was pretty interesting, but a fair bit of the new IoT product information felt borderline absurd. Like this gem of a product:

Sereneti Cooki Robotic Chef
In the early stage of development, inexperienced cooks and busy, working families will love the convenience of having a robot such as Cooki do the cooking for them so hot, perfectly prepared meals are ready to eat the minute they arrive home.

You know what that’s called? A slowcooker. Trust me, they’re amazing. If you can’t bear the idea of having a “dumb” one, don’t worry. There’s one with wifi that can be controlled with the WeMo app. Bon appétit.

Author: Melissa Ward

Melissa Ward is the managing editor for Target Marketing, and she has opinions! More importantly, she's a nerd for great copy and design, a disciple of authenticity, and really loves it when marketers get it right.

3 thoughts on “Will the Internet of Things Make Us Dumb?”

  1. Great article! Skynet/Cylons gave me a good laugh. As you imply, obviously you can extrapolate Dr. Malcolm’s quote to just about any kind of R&D endeavor. And yes, shouldn’t we ask if what is being invented is necessary, good or useful–or if it’s just intellectual one-upsmanship? So-and-so invented X, so I will invent X+1! I work in higher education and sometimes I have to ask, “But WHY? Does anyone need this course/program? Are we just offering it because it sort of sounds like something else we offer, or it has a buzzword in the title?”

    1. Thanks Stephanie! You make a great point about how we need to be asking “why?” (which is one of my favorite questions to ask.) I heard Kristina Halvorson speak at CMWorld last year and she made a great point about how so many marketers/companies AREN’T asking “why are we doing this?” but instead are just running forward full force into muck and mire. Just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean that we SHOULD 🙂 (And I’m glad you liked my Cylons/Skynet references … just had to show a bit more of my geekgirlness)

  2. IoT has already made us smarter than we could have imagined and it started 20 years ago with M2M (machine-to-machine) communications. IoT will continue to simplify our lives ridding us of unnecessary redundancies so we can use our brains to be more creative, learn more, explore more and have more fun.

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