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: “My aspiration is to retire early and travel!” –Male, 27, CA

They’re putting off marriage and they’re moving back in with mom and dad—and we’re not just talking about Millennials. While younger consumers are becoming “boomerang kids” at higher rates, more Gen Xers and adults at all age levels are living at home than they did 30 years ago. The share of adults who have never been married, while highest for Millennials, has also “swelled” for almost all age groups. (CityLab)

Burger King’s Peace Day partnership offer to McDonald’s was brusquely dismissed, but plenty of other burger chains are willing to play. The pop-up Peace Day shop to raise money for UNICEF will now be created with smaller brands like Denny’s, Wayback Burgers, Krystal, and Giraffas, all of whom reached out to Burger King on social media to announce their eagerness to collaborate. We think young consumers like when brandsPlay Nice with one another, so despite criticism, the campaign is hardly a failure. (AdAge)

Would you ever book a flight if you didn’t know the destination? While your answer might be a strong “NO,” several airlines are using “blind bookings” to “generate some excitement and capitalize on the spontaneity and sense of adventure among younger travelers.” The surprise destination tickets are cheaper, and some brands allow participating customers to pick their dates and interests (partying, culture, shopping, cities, etc.) before choosing their endpoint for them. (WSJ)

The 2015 SAT must have been a doozy of a test. Scores were down seven points from the previous year, their lowest since 2005 when the test was last reworked. The number of students who are considered “prepared” for college is down 16% among black students and 23% among Hispanic students. One factor in the drops is the fact that more students are taking the test than ever before, but high school math and reading skills may be an issue. (The Daily Beast)

While more brands amp up their digital efforts, experiential marketing may be more important than ever to appeal to young consumers, who are looking for unique activities they can talk about on social. Adult Swim’s pop-up drive-in theatre is certainly giving them a sharable moment. The brand is touring the country to give fans 18 and older outdoor screenings of unaired episodes, along with free food truck treats, trivia, and prizes. (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “A major life milestone that happened this year was that I met my idol, Taylor Swift.” –Female, 22, CA

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