The ‘Internet of Things’ or IoT is my latest buzz phrase at the dinner party or soccer touchline!  Not being in the Gen Z demographic, this phrase puzzled me somewhat to start with, but I was determined to upskill in the techno-babble buzz word department and find out a bit more about IoT and its impact in our ever digitalised world.

What is IoT?

My first stop was Dr Google for a definition. Of course! Here I found the following description which seemed to make a bit of sense even to a Gen X’er:

‘the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.’

So essentially, whether it be your smart phone, a digital signage screen, a traffic monitoring system, a display board or surveillance camera, IoT brings all these devices together and produces intelligence that helps our daily lives.

How does IoT impact me?

I then dug a bit deeper as it was becoming apparent, from the recent 2018 Digital Signage Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center at least, that IoT was emerging as one of the key trends in digital signage. Cutting through the technology speak I found a few ways that IoT can help in our regular day to day living. So here, to help those other Gen X-ers like me who need a bit of a nudge in the right direction, are a few examples of how the Internet of Things is playing out in our everyday life (often without us even realising it!!):-

  1. Commuting to Work: You’re driving to work one morning and need to be on time for an important meeting. The traffic’s heavy. However, there’s a digital screen connected to a traffic monitoring system which is keeping an eye on local traffic and bus patterns. The screen combines the data from the 3 independent systems (one screen, one traffic monitoring system, one tracking system) into one digital screen that shows what is going on in the streets nearby. Because the screen does the work of other data sources such as apps, TV news, etc, it feeds you relevant information very effectively and helps get you to work on time.
  2. It’s Lunchtime: Your busy favourite lunch spot has a digital menu board up in the restaurant and you order your usual burger on the screen. Unbeknown to you, this is a best-selling menu item and has sold out! The fridge that stocks the item logs that there are no patties left and sends an ‘out-of-stock’ message to the digital screen. The screen removes the item from the menu board and replaces it with something else. Whilst annoying that you really fancied that burger today, as a customer you make an alternative choice quickly and without fuss.
  3. Time for to Go Out: After a long day at the office you fancy a bit of retail therapy. Having been stuck in the office all afternoon you decide to go to the local mall. The screen in your building reception has logged the weather changes and after a sunny start to the day, a storm has come in. The screen has updated its advertising displays accordingly, sending a message that the weather is bad and is displaying umbrella sales. If the weather’s nice, you switch to ice cream and sun cream.
  4. Fuel Up: The car needs refuelling so you stop at a local fuel station. Here the smart surveillance camera has previously tracked the typical paths customers take throughout the store and has found where customers typically dwell the longest. You fancy a box of mints, and there they are right in front of you. Digital signage has been strategically used to maximise sales and you’re happy that you didn’t need to search endlessly for a packed of mints.
  5. Retail Therapy: On the way home you need to buy some groceries for dinner. With hands full you find a digital screen that reacts to verbal instructions. Screens that are voice activated create a world where screens can be told what to do. The biggest benefit of voice-activated screens is that you don’t have to have a touchscreen and you don’t have to be close to the screen in question.

It appears that IoT has some very real applications for day to day living. A survey in 2017 conducted by analyst group Gartner indicated that 43% of enterprises were planning to implement an IoT solution by the end of the year. One of the key reasons for the high take up of IoT is that it can be applied to every industry and become a part of nearly every solution—including digital signage.


Yap!digital provides digital signage solutions to a range of industries including corporate, retail, commercial, manufacturing and educational markets.  Established in 2012, Yap!digital has been providing innovative smart digital signage solutions to Perth companies for nearly 6 years.  Contact Yap!digital to find out more on IotT and all things interactive digital signage. Phone us on 08 9274 5151 or email today!



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