The demand for wearable technology, smart home security systems, and connected devices has grown so much that 38% of companies are already using IoT technology. Research suggests that over 64 billion IoT devices will be in circulation by 2025, and the industry as a whole is predicted to generate over three trillion dollars annually by 2026.
In light of this growth, more industry leaders are considering how personalized environmental data could factor into their business strategy.
Putting Personalized Data In The Hands Of The Consumer
Personalization is no longer an added bonus but a consumer expectation. In particular, consumers expect personalized experiences when using connected devices, as real-time data married with their unique user profile enables them to make more informed lifestyle choices.
In 2018, L’Oréal debuted UV Sense, a tiny, battery-free electronic sensor that sticks to users’ thumbnails. UV Sense analyzes UV levels in the wearer’s surroundings and measures individual UV exposure in real-time, storing up to three months of environmental data. Once customers realized the significance of this data, users made a more concerted effort to stay out of the sun and apply sunscreen more consistently.
Likewise, we are seeing more and more cosmetic and beauty brands look to personalized air quality data as a tool for providing better skincare and health recommendations to their customers.
Neutrogena also recently highlighted the power of personalized air pollution data for better communicating the personal benefit of their urban skincare range by educating their audiences on the real-time air quality levels where they were.
The results were award-winning:
Personalized environmental data is proving to be particularly powerful when it comes to the subject of influencing consumers’ habits and decision-making. Nielsen research reveals that 73% of customers are willing to change their habits to reduce their environmental impact — they just need the means to do so.
For a more comprehensive explanation of how environmental data can be used to encourage positive habit formation by reinforcing tiny habits, we strongly recommend the on-demand webinar below:
How Personalized Environmental Data Revolutionizes Markets
In what follows, we explore just a few of the ways personalized environmental data is disrupting markets and subsequently business as usual for companies, and daily life for individuals.
Increasingly, city planners are turning to personalized environmental data to realize the visions they have for their smart cities. Those concerned with ensuring the health of their citizens deploy air quality readings and advanced analytics to help them build environmentally conscious spaces and manage traffic flow.
In an ambitious campaign called ‘Réinventons nos places’, or, ‘Let’s reinvent our squares,’ Paris launched a city-wide initiative aimed at educating residents about their exposure to pollution. The campaign was also launched with the goal of informing urban planning and development in accordance with health and safety insights drawn from the data.
When prospective home buyers walk into an open house or click on an online listing, they are already imagining themselves as inhabitants of that home - they're interested to know all of the factors that personally impact them. How are the schools in the area? Are there parks nearby? Sites like Trulia even offer crime statistics of given areas to help home buyers make informed decisions.
Air pollution data has now become another critical consideration when shopping for residential or commercial real estate in 2019. Car emissions, factory smoke, and dust from construction sites can have long-lasting effects on the air quality of a given area, potentially irritating one’s allergies or respiratory health. As such, an increasing number of businesses are integrating environmental data — such as historic air quality information — into real estate reports.
Smart technology in the home is moving beyond security and lighting systems — today, smart HVAC systems control excess moisture in the air and regulate ambient air temperature and quality levels. Poised to reach a $28.3 billion valuation by 2025, the smart HVAC market provides consumers with new ways to personalize their homes with smart technology.
Smaller at-home devices equipped with personalized data can work alongside comprehensive systems. For example, companies like Dyson & BlueAir provide air purifier devices with alerts in the case of poor external air quality, prompting users to switch on the device. This feature creates a tangible reminder of how the device improves users’ health.
As consumers take increasingly active roles in managing their own health — and opt for new avenues of access including tele-health and digital wellness applications — healthcare and healthcare-related businesses must rise to the challenge with innovative digital solutions. Personalized, data-driven solutions that tell users when air quality is low and pollen levels are high are increasingly help consumers track treatment dosages and gain insight into their unique healthcare needs.
As an example, ALK, a leader in allergy immunotherapy, is making use of live pollen data to better inform users of their particular sensitivities and help them to better manage their allergy symptoms.
IoT-connected vehicles are changing the rules of the road. Many modern electric vehicles use sensors to communicate with mission control, analyze data in real-time, and put that data to use both on and off the road. Smart cars can also predict component failure and preemptively alert drivers when it is time for an oil change — all while safely navigating the roads with minimal human intervention.
Now, increasingly, the conversation is turning to how we can better protect drivers and passengers while their on the road. The potential for live air quality to improve the health and safety of many during their journeys is huge and set to be a strong catalyst for disruption in the automotive industry.
The automobiles of tomorrow are set to be not only environmentally-conscious, but designed with greater personalization and safety in mind by, for example, using live environmental data to alert drivers to poor air quality and fire hazards at their location, and prompting them to close windows and switch on their in-cabin air purification system.
The energy sector, too, is transforming day by day in response to new big data capabilities. Con Edison has been replacing traditional meters with smart meters since 2017 and plans to install these units in over 5 million homes by 2022. Smart metering systems monitor utilities consumption in real-time and offer nuanced insights into customers’ energy usage.
Once customers see personalized data reflected back at them in the form of a precise and detailed bill, they can make smarter decisions about their energy consumption. Users shocked by a high utility bill can now pinpoint the culprit — gas, electric, water, or heat — and adjust their habits accordingly. This may seem like a small step, but data-driven insights like these are sure to propel long-term energy conservation.
Agriculture & Food Supply
Food manufacturers are expected to feed ten billion people by 2050 — presenting a range of new challenges for the agriculture and food and beverage industries to address. It is becoming increasingly apparent that personalized data will offer new solutions to the food and beverage demands of the future.
IoT devices driven by environmental big data help farmers optimize their daily activity. Data analyses of past weather conditions establish trends and predictions for the coming year — informing planting, fertilizing, and harvesting decisions.
Using big data in agriculture and food production come with a number of added benefits beyond cost and time savings. In fact, it’s been shown that farmers using just one type of technology equipped with big data increased their crop yield by 16 percent, cut their water use in half, and could potentially double their output in the future.
The Future of Environmental Data & Personalization
These examples only scratch the surface of the power of environmental data to disrupt entire markets and the many social norms we're familiar with today.
In light of growing demands and advancements in technology, the way brands harness information to deliver personalized customer experiences actionable insights will be a key differentiator for brands as early as 2020.
To learn more about the particular applications for personalized environmental data for the smart home industry, the eBook below is a great resource: