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The Internet of Things is the big topic at the 2017 CSCU Solutions Conference in Orlando this week.
Two years ago, it was Apple Pay. Last year, it was fintech.
This year, it's the concept that people’s everyday items are communicating with each other, says Tom Davis, CSCU’s senior vice president of finance and technology.
“Connected devices are everywhere. They’re in our clothing. They’re in our gardens. Everywhere,” Davis says of the growing ubiquity of the Internet of Things.
And because many of these smart devices do not have tangible user interfaces, such as the popular smart home devices from Amazon and Google, any transactions through them are mostly invisible.
For example, think about the idea of ordering a pizza with the Amazon Echo. The consumer doesn’t reach for a card or enter a security code, the order is processed with a voice command.
While payment options are still being folded into the world of connected devices, expect it to become much more commonplace in the next few years, Davis says.
“It will be a major shift in the way we live,” he says. “It is going to be immense.”
And it is going to happen soon, he says. The number of connected devices is growing fast, along with the amount of valuable data they emit. By 2020, 50 billion connected devices will exist.
To further illustrate how extensively the Internet of Things could change society, Davis points to a technology concept known as Metcalfe’s Law, which states the value of a communications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected devices/users of the system.
“All of these things are coming into your life and they are going to work together,” Davis says.