We had just begun to understand the concept of the Internet of Things when another term emerged from it – The Internet of Behavior (IoB)! It is the latest tech term coined by Gartner, according to which “IoB is the extension of IoT but focusing on capturing, processing, and analyzing the “digital dust” of people’s daily lives.” The digital dust is the remnant of our online activities.
What is the Internet of Behavior?
In layman’s terms, the Internet of Behavior refers to the study of behavioural psychology of users from the data collected through IoT applications, wearable technologies, individual online movements and other sources.
The combined use of IoT & IoB has now made it possible to track our social media behaviours, geographical locations, interests, etc. by interpreting how we interact with applications.
This data is then used by the service providers to gain a more holistic understanding of their customers and hence improve their services.
For example, YouTube uses IoB to monitor and analyze our content preferences and then creates suggestions based on our viewing habits. Similarly, Spotify analyzes our music taste and creates a personalized ‘Made for You’ playlist based on the type of music we listen to.
The same technique is used by many other applications and electronic devices such as health care apps, diet tracking apps, fit bits, Facebook, Google, etc.
Importance and Benefits of Internet of Behavior
Personalized experience impacts the quality of service and also increases its demand and desirability. We are more satisfied with the online services and electronic devices when they are automatically customized according to our preferences. According to Gartner, about 40% of people in the world will have tracked their behavior via IoB by the year 2023.
Artificial Intelligence-based Voice Recognition services are now so advanced that they can also determine the ‘intent’ behind a search. They no longer depend entirely on the words used for the search. They also analyze the tone and mood of the user to give accurate results.
The Internet of Behavior has indeed made our lives more convenient and comfortable.
Businesses have realized the importance of IoB and so they are using it as a marketing tool. They collect and analyze data from different sources and then use it to manipulate us into buying their products and services. Our psychology and behaviour is studied by the businesses to understand our needs and to sell their services by targeted advertising.
For example, online shopping apps suggest products based on our purchase history and wish list.
It often happens that we search for some product on Google and later we are shown advertisements of that product on other apps. Sometimes it happens that as soon as we get back home after visiting a public place, we get a notification asking us to drop a review of the place. Isn’t it creepy? Does it happen to you too?
Personalization and marketing are going side by side – all because of IoB.
In short, IoB has made applications more effective which in turn helps online businesses to sell and prosper.
Drawbacks of IoB
There is no doubt IoB is useful for providing quality services to customers and for generating revenues for businesses across the world. But this technology involves some potential risks that customers should be aware of. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of IoB:-
- A lot of data is required for the process of IoB. This data is randomly collected from devices without prior permission from customers. Customers have no idea of how their private information is being collected and used or if it is being sold to third party services.
- Hackers or scammers can use IoB to access sensitive data such as security codes, bank pins and so on.
IoB has brought about a revolution in user experience and the growth of online businesses. It has strengthened the contact between businesses and their customers. But some privacy and security concerns need to be addressed by the Governments. Laws should be made to ensure transparency and fair use of user’s data.
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By: Pragya Singh
Growth Central VC