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Our Brave New World: mobile connectivity and the Internet of Things

My colleague Jesse introduced me to a very cool new company called Silvercar (read more about it here). Silvercar, is building a fleet of ‘smart’ rental cars. It uses your mobile device to identify the renter and unlock the door, personalize the in-car preferences (radio, mapping calender itinerary info to GPS, etc.), streamline the pickup and drop-off process (no waiting in line at stupid rental counter), and automatically make payments (including responsible gas refill charges).

Silvercar is a great example of a wave of emerging innovation that we are seeing penetrating all sorts of old markets with mobile-centric, stream-lined and hyper functional ‘uber-like’ experiences. This wave leverages the hyper-connectivity of physical things and affords a simple, efficient and intelligent user experience through the mobile device (as well as through the desktop, though less interestingly and probably less functionally important). 

While still early days, we’re seeing this type of innovation upend all sorts of old markets including transportation, healthcare, energy, hotels, and other areas as well. 

What I love about this type of innovation is how it transcends the purely digital world and literally touches our physical lives - we rent cars, we monitor the health of our body, we adjust the temperature in our homes. This trend lies at the intersection of extreme mobile connectivity and the promise of “Internet of Things”; a world in which our physical objects are “smart” - not only capturing, analyzing and responding to data, but also connecting to one another accepting input from other connected objects and transmitting output back to the connected network.

Incredibly enough, this is no longer the future, but the world we now live in today.       

Quick poll - 

What everyday physical, real-world experiences would like to see improved w/uber-like simplicity and efficiency leveraging our mobile devices?

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