Notifications: The Building Block to the Internet Of Things


Technology is evolving every day, and more than ever before, mobile technology is revolutionizing the consumer experience. Consumers spend hours browsing their smartphones daily, whether to check email or browse social media platforms.

The introduction of push notifications has accelerated the growth and usage of mobile technology. Push notifications are alerts that typically appear when the phone’s user is prompted to do something, or is part of an interaction–either via an app, text message, or phone call. Many users see push notifications instantly, as they are constantly checking their smartphones. As a result, companies, organizations, and developers of mobile applications with push notifications have found that proper timing of the notifications and the ability of the user to take immediate action are two triggers that can get a consumer to react to the notification and engage with the application.

Companies and organizations that use notifications know that they have been a tremendous asset in engaging the consumer. The recipient of the notifications is encouraged to have an instant response because they are being given alerts in real time. The rise of notifications has increased the relevance of social media and placed an emphasis on social networking through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

However, notifications and the desire to receive notifications can be harmful to in person interaction–people are constantly checking their devices instead of directing their attention toward their peers.  Additionally, many applications use notifications to push in-app purchases or reminders about particular events, and for many consumers this is a turn off.

But despite the few drawbacks, notifications have a profound effect on delivering the desired results to help companies and organizations find success. While some applications only send push notifications when there is interaction amongst users, many applications are using time triggered and action triggering notifications. Timehop is one example of an application that uses time triggered notifications to get users to relive their past. Many game applications that allow users to play their friends will use action trigger notifications to inform users that the other player has made their move so it is their turn.

Relatively speaking, notifications are fairly new, arriving with the smartphone boom. Like everything else in technology, there is always room to improve which leads to the belief that notifications will evolve. As the Internet of Things evolves, notifications regarding household items are emerging. These household items, such as thermostats, refrigerators, ovens, windows, doors and lighting–can now be controlled remotely through an application using instant notifications to alert the user if something is left open or is not at an ideal temperature.

While the tech junkies are enamored with the Internet of Things and smart technology, at the very core is a notification system that could very well transform the technology industry during this rapid evolution.