Your Egg Carton is Trying to Tell You Something: The Future of Things

This week, we told you about the tech malaise that Millennials are experiencing. Though they want the latest and greatest new devices, even those on their wishlists aren’t managing to impress them the way that technology used to. So what will be the tech that manages to break the spell and wake up their interest the way that their first smartphone was able to? For years tech insiders have been talking about the Internet of Things: a world where everyday objects can communicate with us, and each other, through the internet, creating a connected space where our belongings will be smarter, more efficient, and make our lives easier. Imagine your alarm clock telling your coffee pot to turn on, or your car texting you when it needs an oil change. Now, after years of being a concept that most had never heard of, and couldn’t imagine coming true if they did, the Internet of Things is becoming a reality. Previously static and inert household items are becoming fixed with sensors and turned into intelligent things that can let their owners know when they are empty, low, need attention, or adjust automatically according to commands and their ambient environment. Business Insider predicts that 9 billion devices will be connected by 2018. If the Internet of Things (or IoT) pans out, it could not only be the next movement to shake up Millennial’s malaise and capture their attention (and wallets) it could also change the way that the next generation—Plurals—views the world around them.

So how close are we to an IoT world? Here are three current projects that are making smart devices a part of our lives right now, and are at the forefront of growing the IoT from a niche concept to a mainstream reality: 

1. Quirky & GE’s Smart Devices 
Some major brands are starting to prepare for the Internet…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “In the future, I'd like to pay off my student loans and not starve or get evicted. A stable job would be nice.” –Male, 26, PA

With any large-scale marketing campaign, especially those that encourage consumer participation, brands must prepare for their message to be hijacked. Coke’s #ShareaCoke promotion has gotten the royal hack treatment from Millennials online who are making fun of the names found listed on the bottles (or those that are left out) and filling in their own to create new comic pairings that relate to other memes. (Adweek)

Not all viral sensations make sense at first. Take relatively unknown British teen Tish and the Vine she posted recently. In it, Tish sits in her mom’s car pretending to drive, says “broom broom,” and cuts to her mom’s high pitched voice saying, “Get out me car!” Sounds simple and not all that overwhelming, but since it was posted, the Vine has gone viral, been remixed by fans, and has earned its own #TeamTish hashtag. Tish’s viral potential could be due her monotone voice, silly catch phrase, or quirky mom, but either way, her videos have given teens online someone to root for. (BuzzFeed)

Live-stream gaming service Twitch has grown from 3.2 million users to 50 million users in three years time and its earnings potential has caught the eye of Google, who plans to purchase Twitch and integrate it into YouTube. Watching how others play and strategize “is like catnip” for serious gamers and Twitch makes it easy for gamers to live-stream what they’re playing for audiences to watch, regardless of what console they’re using. (MediaPost)

You may not be the biggest fan of “listicle” editorials pieces, but BuzzFeed, whose traffic is 50% on mobile and 75% referred from social media, makes a strong case for why lists and other themes are important in brand writing for Millennials. Branded quizzes on BuzzFeed have a 96% completion rate, and both lists and quizzes signal to busy readers that there is “finiteness to what they’re getting.” They are also discovering something new about themselves through quizzes, feeding into their Numbers Game desire to use data for self-discovery. (The Drum)

100 fans will earn a seat at The Giver premier in close proximity to the movie’s biggest stars, but this competition isn’t about luck. The Giver Movie Premiere for Good contest is using online activism as its backbone, asking fans to launch fundraising campaigns on Crowdrise and raise money in order to secure their spot. So far around $6,000 has been raised from the more than 400 campaigns with the money going to charities benefitting the arts. (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: “My dream for the future is complete financial independence from parents and any others, and a very satisfying career that I enjoy (a high salary would be a plus, but not essential).” –Male, 25, PA

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