Perhaps it’s time that we change the definition of IoT from ‘The Internet of Things’ to ‘The Intelligence of Things.’ With the advent of more smart and connected devices and machine learning, everything in our world is beginning to change.

We already have smart cars that can park and stop for us, while the range of self-driving vehicles is increasing rapidly and moving toward full automation by 2020.

Every day, inventors come up with new smart home devices, and introduce them to the marketplace. Beam Technologies has created a smart toothbrush that monitors and encourages good brushing habits. Google’s Nest is leading the industry in smart thermostats. Griffin has released the “Connected Toaster” that sends a phone notification to hungry breakfast makers when their slice of bread is browned to perfection.

And perhaps the most ambitious and interesting smart product is NadiX yoga pants, designed by Wearable X, to detect whether your form is on point. 

What these devices have in common is that they aren’t just connected to the Internet or your phone; it is that they are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide additional services to the customer, with many having the ability to improve over time.

But what does this mean for insurers? Is the risk different with intelligence? For example, would homeowners insurance cover me if ransomware phished the data from my toothbrush and yoga pants and threatened to post to Facebook that I was horrible at the Warrior Pose and didn’t floss enough? Would a personal cyber policy protect me from the array of intelligent devices coming into my home? Carriers need to not only come to grips with the risks these products create, but more importantly the opportunity that lies ahead.

Some companies are embracing intelligent items and are using it to work for them. Beam Dental rewards customers with good brushing habits. Insurance startup Sure now has an intelligent diagnostic they can run on your phone that allows them to instantly underwrite the phone. Google, in partnership with Liberty Mutual, is offering discounts on homeowner insurance to customers who install the Nest smoke detector.

Adapting to AI and machine learning isn’t just about making existing insurance processes smarter. It is also about understanding how these technologies are changing the world around us, and the sales and service opportunities they create. Is your company ready for the Intelligence of Things?

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