The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest terms in the technology industry today. Hardly a week goes by without hearing about our connected world, or the Internet of Things. So what does the Internet of Things really mean and how can I explain it in a way that everyone can understand?
IoT is connected devices sharing information over the Internet. This includes smartphones, appliances, alarm systems, fitness trackers, game consoles, vehicles and all kinds of machines.
Any device that is connected to the Internet has the potential to be part of the Internet of Things, all that is required is that they connect and communicate with each other to perform a wider function. There’s a good chance that you or someone you know has been part of the IoT market for a while or will be soon. It’s amazing all the things that our once simple “watch” can control for us now.
How does this apply and impact Indian Country? I have come across many Tribes that have energy companies who use or soon will use the Internet of Things to connect to their power customers and systems. Deploying SMART meters at the end user location and connecting to a SMART grid allow Tribes to manage their utility more efficiently. Data can be collected real-time and allow for adjustments to be made that impact the long-term use of the network, ultimately costing the customer and Tribe less money.
In the casino business, the Internet of Things allows a lot more flexibility in the design and maintenance of slot machines and the management of marketing data. Availability and therefore profitability can be improved by real-time monitoring and ability to repair or move machines quickly if needed. By predicting individual actions instead of applying the same metric for a group of customers, casinos will be much better positioned to gain a competitive advantage. As the landscape becomes more competitive, Native American gaming and tourism operators must use IoT to move from segmented offers to a strategy of 1-1 marketing communication.
I am looking forward to learning more about how technology is being used at the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) tradeshow later this month in Las Vegas April 17-20. I see a great opportunity to learn and network – and hope to see you there!
This editorial was written for and published in the Tribal Business Journal, April 2018 issue.
IoT is a grossly over used term. While there are indeed a plethora of various connected devices, it is the human factor behind any device where security issues begin. While there is a time and place for new terms and technology, the bottom line is it is not the IoT’s time.