Heres How Twitter Can Connect Us To The Internet Of Things

Author

Michael Wolf, Contributor

May 1, 2015

While Facebook, Google and others have made their strategies for the Internet of Things fairly self-apparent, Twitter, the real-time social king, has yet to crystalize a cohesive strategy for what many see as the next big wave in technology innovation.

Does it matter? After all, isn’t social media about people, not things? Well, as I explain here, it does matter, as social media companies know that to stay relevant, they need to add the contextual data that our things can provide, which in turn will feed their fast growing data and advertising businesses.

For their own part, Google and Facebook have gone gaga over IoT.  Google’s taking a more direct to consumer approach by trying to control the smart home, wearable and car platforms, while Facebook is positioning itself as an underlying cloud connection platform.

As for Twitter, in some ways the company is already fairly entrenched in the world of IoT in that many machines already are connected and tweeting with Twitter through the company’s own API.  Whether it’s a connected camera or vending machine, already machines are sending tweets by the millions.

But what’s next? First off, I think more and more connected systems will learn to read tweets and use them to set in motion “scenes” or actions. As I explain here, imagine if a smart home could know there’s an environmental advisory in the area via a tweet from a local environmental authority and turn on an air purifier and shut the windows. Straightforward and likely doable today.

Beyond that, I can envision Twitter looking to create what is in, in essence, a “connect to device” button, where we can authenticate and register devices with our Twitter accounts and then connect them to third party services or offerings. Imagine, if you will, your favorite sports team tweeting out a color scheme for your connected lights or a watchface for your smartwatch on game day.

As I write here, in some ways I could envision Twitter becoming a social IFTTT (if you’re not familiar with IFTTT, they’re a mix and match device and service connection engine) for IoT, powering interesting connections betweens devices and services.

Of course, naturally some will become concerned about the security of making our things more “social”, but just they’ve started to figure out a robust baseline of security for social commerce, I think the same will happen for “social” IoT.

Michael Wolf is an IoT and smart home analyst for NextMarket. Subscribe to his smart home newsletter and follow him on Twitter.

This article was written by Michael Wolf from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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