The Internet of Things is Transforming the Political Landscape

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 24, 2016 11:19:42 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in General, Internet of Things, IoT, political campaign, Politics, voters

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The nature of political campaigning is changing rapidly as the intrusion of the Internet of Things (IoT) within popular culture continues to expand at a rapid rate. In the past, the infrastructure of political campaigns was heavily based on polling, surveys, door-to-door campaigning, and cold calls. These methods were deemed very effective among politicians at the time, but in the modern era, relying on these tactics as a means to learn more about voters is a waste of time and resources. IoT technology has changed the way voters interact with the government as more information about their habits and beliefs will be tracked and analyzed with the sensors built into this technology.

One of the first politicians to take full advantage of the technological advancements within society was Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign. Even though he didn’t use the IoT directly, he utilized social media in similar way to how the IoT can be utilized. Obama’s campaign team collected and analyzed an abundance of data from various social media sites in order to learn who to target their messages toward and where to send them. The success of this campaign with the use of online data analysis has caused the IoT to become a valuable political tool.

The most relevant use of IoT technology within a political campaign can be the ability to gather lots of data. In a Politico article about IoT and politics, author Phil Howard states, “instead of small survey samples with noticeable error margins and carefully worded questions, the device networks will generate many details about our lives — all the time.” The room for error in data collection is significantly reduced and the efficiency is vastly improved using big data analysis. The IoT is always connected and always gathering data to be analyzed, which will provide the government and politicians with a completely accurate collection of voter behaviors and attitudes.

The ability for political campaigns to understand the real-world behavior of voters will be beneficial for both citizens and politicians. The politicians will be able to fully understand the current needs of citizens and anticipate what they will want in the future. The more data citizens produce, the more their needs will be brought to attention by politicians. Instead of politicians trying to guess what citizens want, the precise data that is collected will be beneficial for both parties in fulfilling their needs.

The IoT is removing a significant amount of the direct interaction between political campaigns and voters. Some of the old campaigning methods will be rendered useless with networks of internet-enabled devices collecting mass quantities of behavioral voter data. The infrastructure of political campaigning has transformed from an “act then observe” approach, to an “observe then act” approach. Politicians will be actively trying to meet the needs of voters based off of data that is collected through the IoT. The IoT allows politicians to have a thorough understanding of voter desires and needs, which will revolutionize the political process.

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The Internet of Politics

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 24, 2015 9:48:32 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ConnectSense, General, Internet of Things, IoT, Political Campaigns, Politics, Polls, Sensors

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With all of the political candidates announcing their campaigns, our office has been wondering what the Internet of Things (IoT) will change about the campaigns of the future. So much of today’s media surrounds what the polls are saying and how the potential candidates carry themselves and respond to national issues. Candidates focus on promoting themselves in crucial areas and draw upon the funds of consistent supporters to push their platform ahead.

_MG_5983IoT technology could reorient this entire process! Data resulting from IoT devices could be able to target citizens who are most likely to support/vote for a particular candidate. Data from IoT products could also allow for the understanding of what his/her supporters want.

Devices that can be placed in a voter’s home could detect the reactions to certain political ads or debates.  During debates, for example, a smart button that records agreement or dissent with each candidate’s position can help them understand the overall opinions of the voting public.  This would provide virtually instant feedback and would allow each individual comment or idea to be vetted, not just the entire speech.

IoT can totally revamp the entire voting process, allowing people to vote more easily and quickly.  Instead of the typical ink and paper process, your iPhone (with fingerprint security) could easily be used to record votes and avoid any issues with “hanging chads”, like we experienced in 2000.  This would authenticate that the voter is who they say they are and might even allow people to vote from home.

Laugh detectors can tell when, during various points of a speech, the voter feels the viewpoints being shared are ridiculous.  Conversely, sensors that can detect when a voter is upset or angry can indicate disagreement with what the candidate might be saying.  A snore sensor may even exist to record when a candidate’s viewpoints or speeches are not of any interest at all.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts on politics and the IoT in the comments below.

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