The Internet of Things: unlocking possibilities

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The Internet of Things

Human-machine interactions that unlock possibilities in media and entertainment

What is IoT?

IoT describes the connection of devices — any devices — to the Internet using embedded, software and sensors to communicate, collect and exchange data with one another. With IoT, the world is wide open, offering a virtually endless array of opportunities and connections at home, at work or at play.

The building blocks of IoT

EY - The building blocks of IoT

IoT combines connectivity with sensors, devices and people, enabling a form of free-flowing conversation between man and machine, software and hardware. With the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, these conversations can enable devices to anticipate, react, respond and enhance the physical world in much the same way that the internet currently uses networks and computer screens to enhance the information world.

Much of the current development in IoT has focused on industrial opportunities. However, IoT for media consumers can open up new, intimate entertainment experiences.

The sensors that will drive IoT expansion for M&E

The increasing sophistication of the sensors embedded in technology makes it possible for devices (“things”) to read, gauge and understand consumers at unprecedented levels.

Sensors measure physical inputs and transform them into raw data, which is then digitally storable for access and analysis.

Among the most discussed applications for sensors are all things smart: cities, environment, water, metering, security and emergency services, retail, logistics, industrial control, agriculture, farming, domestic and home automation, and e-health.

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EY - M&E Sensor

Where vision meets execution

A fully executed IoT vision will incorporate three elements to create an interconnected experience.

Personalization at home and on the road

By knowing specific attributes of the device owner, sensors can gather additional data that will enable media companies to deliver personalized experiences and advertising.

For advertisers, ads can be contextualized to the specific interests of an individual. On the road: connected cars offer increasing levels of connectivity and automation, such as dashboard interfaces for accessing email, music and video streaming, and social networks, and the promise of self-driving, self-parking modes.


Authentication and verification

Imagine standing in front of a kiosk at the train station and having instant rights to your TV services without having to actively log in. Taken to the next level, big data algorithms could customize a large screen experience for a public group based on a combination of content the individuals have the rights to and the proclivity for.


Wearables: when the clothes measure the man (or woman)

Wearables have the potential to unlock new data that can both address deficiencies in the current measurement system, such as de-duplicating unique users across platforms, and enhance what marketers know about their audiences.


Through IoT, advertisers and media companies may be able to answer critical questions about consumer behavior, such as:

  • How many exposures led to a conversion? In what context was an ad most successful?
  • How many times did a person really “see” an ad?
  • How many exposures are unique individuals vs. the same person on multiple platforms?

Proceed with caution

For all of the opportunities that IoT offers, there are some significant risks that M&E companies need to address before they adopt IoT in full measure.

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EY - IoT Challenges


The next evolution: Four steps to IoT leadership

Create an innovation culture

Create customer journey maps able to assess every step of the customer experience


Adopt a hybrid agile model

Adopt a hybrid agile model, borrowing key capabilities from the automotive industry and other sectors with high maturity


Increase partner ecosystem

Create business application programing interfaces (APIs) able to plug into different IoT ecosystems


Manage the risks

Embed risk management throughout the organization



EY - Virtual RealityThe future of M&E is IoT

IoT is both disruptive and inevitable. M&E companies are uniquely positioned to seize an early advantage given their position as both an enabler of IoT and a receiver. At its heart, IoT removes the friction from manual completion of mundane tasks, enabling people to spend time on the things they enjoy. If this time is spent consuming and engaging more deeply with content, the M&E industry will find real value in its IoT investments.

How we can help



A good defense An even better offense
  • Understand security and privacy issues and threats
  • Understand how to continually align data safety and accuracy
  • Develop IoT risk strategy
  • Determine rights implications of IoT world
  • Evaluate potential of IoT data to customize and enhance customer experience
  • Leverage IoT when developing the overall GTM strategy and market positioning
  • Evaluate multi-level authentication in direct-to-consumer services and enhance micro payment capabilities
  • Evaluate back-end systems scalability to prepare for massive IoT data
  • Determine device strategy (partner/build/license)
  • Develop robust identity management strategy tied to IoT services
  • Develop concept for service interface design
  • Develop advertising products and pricing aligned with contextual IoT delivery


A good defense An even better offense
  • Enhance data protection and privacy infrastructure
  • Draft policies and procedures around customer data and remediation
  • Continually update map of critical data dependencies in product and services
  • Make certain that the right data architecture is in place to support massive data storage and retrieval
  • Design algorithms, models and programs that can turn collected data into meaningful customized insights
  • Implement contextual profiling of customers
  • Create databases and secure data depositories to host customer data
  • Assess and upgrade infrastructure
  • Design a product (software) that can use real time data input and data analytics to improve efficiency and optimize operations
  • Develop in-product commerce and engagement experiences
  • Develop algorithms for content discovery within one’s own ecosystem and across others


A good defense An even better offense
  • Conduct scenario testing and simulations of high-risk situations where IoT data could pose incremental human reputation or litigation risks
  • Conduct real-time monitoring for reliability and accuracy of critical data elements that drive IoT-dependent products and services
  • Deliver exceptional and frictionless customer experience
  • Continually innovate and delight
  • Design KPIs that capture IoT impact and business growth
  • Monetize data by offering it as a product to purchase or as a subscription service


Legislators around the world are already working on addressing the numerous challenges IoT creates. For example, intellectual property rights: Who owns the data? Even in instances where data ownership is clear, the duration for which owners can own the rights of collected data still needs to be addressed.



Privacy is a major challenge that organizations need to overcome as the IoT ecosystem seeks to collect enormous amounts of data and contextual inputs from sensors and other IoT solutions.



Cybersecurity remains a leading challenge for consumers and businesses alike — something that will become exponentially more difficult as IoT connects more devices, software, machines and humans.



Without a common language or standard of implementation, IoT will remain limited in its application.



Only when IoT reaches critical mass can M&E companies reap the full financial benefits of their personalized content investments.


Flow, liquid, chemical and gas

Measure the flow rate of a liquid or gas. Detect room humidity. Sense and monitor dangerous chemical elements (carbon monoxide, radiation). Applications: cameras, wearables, smartphones, smart home, security systems, connected vehicles.


Sound, audio and acoustics

Identify sound, recognize speech and voice commands, measure and locate echo. Detect presence or absence of objects, measure distance. Applications: microphones, hydrophones, transceivers, ultrasonic sensors, audio systems, speakers, headsets, cameras, fingerprintsensing applications.


Motion and velocity

Detect motion of an object, sense rotation and change in orientation, measure acceleration, react to velocity. Applications: video and mobile gaming (tracking purposes), 3-D motion tracking products, 3-D character animation, sports science, camera stabilization, electric keyboard, smartphones.


Optic, light and imaging

Measure various outputs using light. Detect distance, absence, or presence of an object by using light. Convert light into a signal. Applications: image sensor for HD video data, video images, thermal imaging, wearables, cameras, webcams, smartphones.


Pressure and force

Sense pressure applied. Measure force and weight. Detect touch and contact pressure. Applications: virtual reality, gesture recognition, video and mobile gaming, touch screen devices, cameras, security, smart home.



Measure the strength and direction of a magnetic field. Applications: security and tracking systems, game consoles, connected vehicles.


Temperature and thermal

Detect temperature or heat. Applications: Galvanic skin response sensor, infrared sensors, cameras, wearables, smart home, connected vehicles.


Proximity, position and presence

Provide positional feedback, detect height and width. Perform non-contact detection of objects, sense UV index, ambient light, long range proximity, heart rate or pulse, motion with 2-D or 3-D gestures. Applications: wearables, GPS, cameras, smartphones, game consoles, connected vehicles.