As Gottheil notes, the market for IoT-enabled devices is only viable if it results in cost savings. While a certain market segment with disposable income may be motivated by reducing their environmental impact, the vast majority of consumers (especially those in developing economies) need an economic incentive to invest in these technologies. In the case of the delivery driver, the cost of retrofitting an efficient, IoT-connected fuel system to his motorbike is significant, but justified by the efficiency and cost savings that it provides over the life of the product. Presented in this way, the IoT can benefit consumers in both emerging economies and those that are already strong.
Additionally, the environmental impact still exists, whether marketed as a consumer priority or not. The delivery driver, by adopting efficient fuel technology, will make an impact on his community and environment through reduced emissions and lower fuel consumption. As more and more drivers adopt this technology on the basis of an economic incentive, the beneficial environmental effect continues to grow. It’s a win-win situation for the driver, his community, and those who provide innovative, IoT-connected technologies.
The Internet of Things also presents exciting opportunities for carbon exchange markets. Smart fuel systems that can tabulate and communicate their carbon offsets to a ledger (secured and made accessible through emerging blockchain technology) create the possibility of a new market for carbon trading and an additional economic incentive for adopting these technologies.