The Internet of Behavior: What, Why, and How
The Internet of behavior (IoB) is a digital innovation that combines the three fields: the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and behavioral science. The application of IoB is very personalized based on one’s action and tendency. It might sound creepy for some of you as it seems to hijack our consciousness and freedom of choice. However, in the proper usage and purposes, it could help us in a particular situation where someone’s history of activities and behavioral tendencies is crucial, like the current pandemic of COVID-19.
Enforcing health protocols has been a difficult task. It is almost impossible to control and observe each human’s behavior. The cases are skyrocketing as the awareness is relatively low among the people, especially those who would do anything to bring the food on the table. Not to mention the pandemic fatigue, which leads to ignorant behavior as people are already tired of endless isolation. Hence, “applying health protocol” has become magic words for any activities held outside homes. The question is, how can we make sure the rule is duly obeyed 24/7? This article will cover the basic concepts of IoB and its practices.
The Way it Works
The more we use devices connected to the internet, the more our data, both digitally and physically, is collected. The Internet of Things (IoT) — the interconnectedness of various smart devices including light bulbs, TV, security system, cars, smartphones, wearable devices, personal computers, and much more — has undoubtedly helped our daily life easier. By 2019, IoT is embedded in 27 billion devices, and it is projected to be exceeding nearly 200 percent to 75 billion by 2025. The interconnectedness in IoT has allowed the IoB to grow.
IoB consists of multiple approaches to capture, analyze, understand, to monetize users. It works by giving feedback to users from processed the data collected through IoT. It uses a behavioral science approach that includes four main areas: emotions, decision, augmentations, and companionship, to influence our actions, both digitally or physically. Gartner, an IT consulting company, predicted that by 2023, the IoB would influence benefit and service eligibility for the 40% global population. They also mentioned that IoB implementation would start to be massive in 2021 as one of the top strategic technology trends in a post-pandemic momentum. Moreover, there is ever-widening attention over health protocol compliance and speed up the contact tracing using one’s digital footprint.
Whether you realize or not, IoB is indeed close to our daily life. Companies use IoT and IoB to observe our behavior, which attempts to change according to their desired goal. IoB’s base principle is to add a data-driven value to our daily activities. Give the example of a wearable device such as a smartwatch, which is quite useful to enhance our fitness. It helps us track our diet, heart rate, blood sugar, calories burned, etc. Based on the data recorded, these apps might give us advice or reminder to reach our target we have set before or ways of improving our health.
Another implementation of IoB is shown on the targeted advertising. It is the distribution of ads through specific keywords related to our preferences. The latter is known through recorded and processed data in our IoT-devices. Highly personalized digital marketing like this has proved to be more effective and engaging.
It is also started to be adopted by insurance providers and banking. They went to our digital data and footprints to improve the background checking process as if we’re about to take loans or insurance. In another way, they use our data to encourage us to do more saving, investing, or other long-term financial targets. Governments had also implemented IoT and IoB to serve people better by establishing smart cities and enhancing traffic order through electronic penalties.
Many companies use IoB to monitor and analyze health protocol compliance in the post-pandemic context. It includes cleanliness, facemask, and social distancing. The first step is to place sensors or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in the surrounding areas, determining whether the employees are regularly washing their hands. A computer vision with a face detector then helps determine whether employees are obeying the mask protocols. To complete, speakers on the site can be used to warn people of protocol violations. Those three devices are interconnected to draw a loop monitoring during the operation of a company. The same approach can be applied in a public space to curb the spread of COVID-19 and make everyone feel safe on their daily hassle outside homes.
The Ethical and Social Concerns
The Internet of Behavior influences consumer choice, which at the same time, also modifies the cycle of customer experience. While many people show reluctance to give their data, many others enjoy doing so as it brings them an added value. In fact, people are more and more dependent on technology and are even pleased to interact with it 24/7. People like to set up their devices synchronized as it is super convenient.
Yet, the concern is increasing at a particular point to data privacy. Hence, for now, the adoption of IoB might vary from region to region due to the privacy laws and concerns. Nonetheless, as the technology is growing, its ethical or social ramifications would always follow and provide room for debate.
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Contributor: Rachmadita Kusumastiti