Will the internet of things mean big things for retail?

Retail Wire Discussion: Will the internet of things mean big things for retail?

From a retail standpoint, TIoT (The Internet of Things) represents a play-to-participate opportunity for retailers (if not a play-to-win at this point), one that will further blur the lines between consumer electronics and other categories like white goods. That means that any retailer in the "consumer electronics" business will have some decisions to make regarding which categories to emphasize or add. For example, h.h. gregg decided to pump up its appliance business and reduce consumer electronics not long ago. Now they are becoming one and the same. Should Walmart carry white goods in the back of the store? Maybe online only, but with tie-ins to TIoT presented in stores? If the TIoT movement gains any traction (and it will if only because of the huge investments now being made in it by companies like Google), then retailers won't be able to sit on the sidelines.

In terms of security and privacy, I've been thinking a lot about the delicate balance that Google will have to strike (or at least consider) on the heels of its acquisition of Nest Labs. Google received quite a bit of flak earlier this year for linking its email service to social media, for example, upping the privacy quease factor already associated with the platform. If Google hopes to further penetrate consumers' homes, it can't afford to have a cavalier attitude or to assume that users won't draw connections between its various business units.

Read the article and discussion online at RetailWire.