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: “I am planning to give an iPhone 6s as a gift for this Valentine’s Day.”

—Male, 31, NY

Almost 2/3 of Millennials block ads online, according to one report, and MediaPost recently spoke to young media consumers to find out why. One 19-year-old wishes for digital ads “that [are] barely noticeable,” and suggests to marketers to “stop any ads that hinder the speed and ease of your browsing.” Another 25-year-old tries to support web sites whose livelihood depends on ad revenue by being “more cognizant of which sites are showing me ads to be obtrusive versus showing me ads to support a valuable, but free, service.” (MediaPost)

2016 started strong for Millennials. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in January, the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low (4.9%), and it was the second best job growth month ever for 25-34-year-olds, with 429,000 jobs added for this group between December 2015 and January 2016. That’s the highest employment growth since January 2000, when the tech bubble was at its peak and 1.166 million jobs were added. This is a positive sign for the generation, who has been severely impacted by the financial crisis.
(Business Insider

Love is in the air and Millennials are pulling out their wallets. A recent study on finance and relationships revealed that 18-34-year-olds are planning to spend an average $290 on Valentine’s Day activities—almost $100 more than older respondents. Millennial men are planning to spend the most, an average of $371. Ypulse’s Valentine’s Day survey found that the 71% of males 13-33-years-old are buying gifts for significant others/spouses, and mom is second on their list. (NerdWallet

Playboy has put some clothes on to attract Millennials. The brand’s makeover includes more tasteful photos and short-form articles, changes meant to improve sales after years of losing “cultural cachet.” Though the internet, and the wide availability of nudity it offers, certainly hurt Playboy’s bottom line, it also may have inspired their demure new approach. A 2014 redesign to make their website “more PG-13” led to a 258% increase in traffic, and lowered readers’ average age from 47 to 30. With most web traffic stemming from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it also makes sense to “play by those networks’ rules”—which means no nudity allowed. (New York Post

Taco Bell’s $5 million secret is out after their big reveal duringthis Sunday’s Super Bowl introduced the world to the quesalupa, “a crunchy quesadilla folded and filled with taco ingredients.” Sound like something you’d want to order? If the answer’s no, it might be because they didn’t make it for you—they’re targeting the next generation. According to the head of the brand’s Insights Lab: “We study gen Z not just because we want to target them, but because we want to get ahead in culture and we want to predict what's going to happen. And also because youth is what our brand DNA is about." (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The issue I am most passionate about is LGBTQ, because in the words of Dr. Seuss ‘A person is a person, no matter how small.’” –Female, 18, KY

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