The Dawn of the “Bank of Things”
Over the past ten years, I’ve seen analysts’ forecast of the number of devices connected to the internet grow from 2 billion to
The reality is we simply don’t know and the ever-spiralling number is a sign of just how big the potential for this new technology is.
It seems it will soon be possible to connect anything and everything.
We already have a mattress cover that monitors your health;
socks that tell you how many times they’ve been worn and washed;
3D printed clothes that adjust to temperature; and
milk bottle tops that tell you if the milk has gone off. Meanwhile,
toothbrushes, light bulbs,
door handles and even pens, can all be connected and can all deliver new services as a result.
New types of information
A new era of connectivity has begun and with it comes a whole different level of “big data”, as these devices emit a constant flow of information.
Just as the number and variety of things connected to the internet continues to grow, so does the range of information coming from them. Sensors can provide data on location (GPS), movement (accelerometer), temperature, pressure and light, for example. And
it quickly becomes apparent that the possibilities for this stream of information are limitless.
What’s more, it doesn’t stop there as these connected “things” can also communicate with each other.
Imagine a washing machine that warns you that you’ve left your phone in the pocket of the jeans you just placed inside it to wash.
Or curtains that open when the alarm on your phone wakes you up in the morning (possibly a little later than usual because your phone has checked your diary for the day ahead and also detected you haven’t slept well during the night).
Again, the possibilities of what could result from devices that are able to talk to other devices are only limited by our imagination.
Children are already learning the basics of wiring up sensors and finding ways to use the information using kits such as
SAM and Kano to build their own gadgets. These are the skill sets of the future – electronics (circuits), APIs/scripting, and analytics (data).
The future of banking
The implications of this new connected world are only just starting to be felt. Every industry is in a state of transformation and none more so than banking.
Banks are thinking about how this new world of big data could potentially transform what they offer to customers and their relationship with them. This is what I call the “Bank of Things” and in this new world it is likely that banks will want to become
- Custodian of the customer’s data – helping them to manage privacy and control sharing
- “Infomediary” – acting as an adviser between the customer and sellers
- Payments manager for the customer’s “things”
A glimpse of what’s to come
We are on the cusp of a new technological dawn that will clearly bring huge changes for banks and banking. In this series of blogs I will be exploring this topic from a banking perspective and looking at what it means in terms of Connected Cities, Connected
Cars, Connected Homes and Connected People.
Given the huge potential of the technology I recognise I’ll only be able to provide a glimpse of the possibilities, but I hope it gives you a taste of what’s to come and welcome any feedback you might have on other applications of the technology.