But in fact, internet of things got its start as a way to solve supply chain problems - "It All Started with Lipstick"
But in fact, internet of things got its start as a way to solve supply chain problems
by Sampsa Tiainen at 2:18 PM 15/2/2016
"It All Started with Lipstick"
"I was working at P&G, and we launched a lipstick, and the most popular color was never in stock," says Kevin Ashton, who coined the term "Internet of Things."* The disparity between the success of the marketing campaign and the reality of what was available in store was key to Ashton's thinking: "The first time it hit me was when I was in Tesco and my product wasn't on the shelf. Even with the best advertising in the world, if the product is not on the shelf, it won't be bought, or people will go to a rival product," adds Ashton.
Ashton set out on a quest to find a solution, linking up with MIT, where he co-founded the Auto-ID Center. His vision was that if we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. 
At MIT's Auto-ID Center, Ashton and his collegues set out to find the technological solution that would turn this insight into reality. The focus of the Center from the beginning was to research ways in which an electronic tag could be put on every single object in the world, allowing each to be uniquely tracked and potentially controlled – and to do so in the most cost-effective way. 
As a result, they drove the early deployment of RFID and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify and understand the world without the limitations of human-entered data. Just so that the right color lipstick would always be found on the shelf to make a sale.
* "I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure the phrase 'Internet of Things' started life as the title of a presentation I made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999," said Ashton in 2009.  References:  Ashton, K. (2009) "That 'Internet of Things' Thing," RFID Journal;  Bainbridge, J. (2014) "Meet Kevin Ashton, the Man Behind the Internet of Things," Marketing;  McFarlane. D. (2015) "The Origin of the Internet of Things," RedBite;  Vinik, D. (2015) "The Internet of Things: An Oral History," The Agenda "
Above mentioned is an excerpt from the study "Finnish machinery industry and the industrial internet of things - the revolution will be digitized" produced by Prosia Executive Search, 2016, author Ph.D. Teea Mäkelä
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