How IoT is Affected by the Deal Between Verizon & AOL

It was recently announced that Verizon will spend $4.4 billion on the acquisition of AOL, with their objective being to insert the company into every part of the household, from beyond the television to the other electrical devices such as the fridge, washing machine, and even any wearable devices you may have.

For those unaware, the Internet of Things is a reference to devices (things), which are interconnected via the Internet, but don’t have a regular user interface, such as a mouse, or keyboard, or screen. With this proposal, just about every aspect of your home can be networked to provide data and control, in order to utilize the possibilities via an application with the intention of improving your lifestyle.

Verizon in not the first tech giant to move into this area, and is following in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung and Facebook by declaring a verifiable interest in IoT. Verizon is not known to have a great deal of hardware experience, though they will be able to utilize their FiOS device as an entry point.

They have placed emphasis on the growth of mobile TV and ad networks, though there are still many questions about how the new partnership will play out in the homes of consumers. One theory put forward by analysts at ABI research is that users may be presented with personalized grocery advertisements based on the contents of their fridge, while reading an online article on one of their devices.

It seems that IoT enabled devices will be able to learn peoples’ habits at home based on the activities they undertake. This could be extended beyond the home to encompass a connected automobile, providing extremely valuable data to advertisers.

It is not immediately apparent how well AOL’s assets will serve Verizon’s IoT expansion, but what is clear is that they are moving beyond making connections between people by seeking to network their devices as well.

Experts are claiming that this is an ideal match between AOL’s ad tech platform and the OTT (over-the-top) and massive mobile audience Verizon can access via FiOS. The main opportunity arising from this deal is for Verizon to enhance their ad network.

This will be possible by tracking how people behave at home, and using the data to target ads. However, some wonder if their IoT initiative will become the ultimate invasion of privacy. What do you think? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.