In our new book, Smart Customers, Stupid Companies, Michael Hinshaw and I describe this phenomenon as the Physical Web. It will link people, places, events, ideas and objects.
If you find a beautiful pond deep in the woods, you will bookmark it. You may also attach a link – seemingly in thin air – that asks other hikers to snap a photo of the spot if they happen to be there at sunset. When they do, the photo will be automatically sent to you.
When you stand in your garden over your skinny little pepper plants, you’ll point your phone at them, analyze the soil, and see an image of a healthy pepper plant at roughly the same age. If you like, you’ll be able to order exactly the right fertilizer without ever visting a “store,” online or off.
At a conference, you will scan the profiles of others in the room, and sort them by whatever preferences are most relevant to you are the time: smartest, most knowledgeable, or even sexiest.
Most discussions will be recorded, and every recording will be searchable. “He said, she said” will give way to: at 9.07.12 a.m. Jim M. agreed to pay 22 cents per unit.
Words can barely describe the entrepreneurial opportunities that are now emerging, thanks to the rise of the Physical Web. The only limits are your imagination.
Some will say this is science fiction, that the world I am describing is a decade or more away. You should thank these people, because they are making it possible for you to profit from the Physical Web. More in my next post.
image credit: thecontaminated.com
Bruce Kasanoff is president of Now Possible, a marketing and innovation consultancy; and co-author of Smart Customers, Stupid Companies: Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive and How to Be One of Them