How The Internet Of Things Can Help Online Learning

How is the Internet of Things helping with education today?

You can buy a water heater or car for less money than what it cost to go to college. For your smartphone, every single thing you can do is cheaper than going to college—from the popular Netflix subscription to the price of college textbooks.

Now add household electronics to the list. A recent University of Oxford study found that average household electronics prices have fallen by 54 percent over the past 20 years, and are projected to fall another 17 percent by 2020.

With that in mind, you probably think that you can get a better deal if you pick up electronics from the store rather than going online. But, if you’re buying anything except appliances, this is a poor reason to buy online. You have to read the fine print, unless you can go to a store without internet access.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is now under $500. Yes, it’s $50 more than you would pay if you bought it from the store, but you wouldn’t have gotten a guarantee or warranty, and you would have paid full price for it.

Where our credit cards and financial tools make it possible to handle credit, similar advances have come to online transactions.

Digital technology still has a long way to go. Consumers have to be sensitive to the implications of what they buy. Online transactions still have great potential to increase transparency and convenience, but there are some important reasons to avoid buying from a store.

E-wallets provide convenience without the drawbacks

An e-wallet lets you pay for items like groceries and items from multiple stores with a single card number. You can use your money at a higher percentage rate than it would be if you had a credit card (thanks to savings on transactions fees), and only pay a fee if you’re spending more than you expected to (thanks to the rollback of a credit card’s APR).

This approach is great for people who are smart about smart spending and building up a wallet, but don’t necessarily want to have a card and transaction fees in their spending calculations. I’ve gone to PayPal and Amazon when I don’t have my card, and there was no fee charged.

Expanding the focus beyond brick-and-mortar

Alone, a virtual payment platform is a powerful tool that should be used by anyone who shops on the internet, but it shouldn’t be treated as an independent option.

It’s not only the cost of purchase (and deal in the store, including fees and store returns), but it also affects the type of shopping you do. Online shopping is a great way to learn new products or services that are unusual or out of reach. However, you may want to look at things like the cost of rent, real estate costs, and education expense, before you buy groceries online.

It’s also valuable for people who are shopping for first time homebuyers, looking for discounts on everything from appliances to haircuts, or for those who are frequenting multiple stores over time and learn best practices. The goal is not to get discount sales at multiple locations but rather to do the deals better when you’re shopping for every single item in your shopping cart.

Despite its value, e-wallets are not usually used for every kind of purchase. From time to time, a transaction with PayPal happens in a store, but that’s not a solution that matches the ease of online payments, nor can you control your spending by entering your PIN at checkout. That’s why e-wallets can only work if you have a good set of shopping tools for tracking the data and your spending habits.

The Internet of Things could help you learn

One of the things I love about online shopping is that it’s possible to download details of an item and run a few items on your smart phone. Why do we get used to e-wallets as the digital equivalent of walking into the store and selecting a bottle of water? There is tremendous potential in utilizing connected devices.

Connected devices offer tons of features for consumers, but they are mainly meant for products that come from manufacturers. If you look at mobile payments, you’ll see a similar occurrence: For products manufactured with a specific purpose, the idea of offering its underlying controls directly on a mobile device is novel.

For instance, how about a way to input your floor plan? An internet-connected scale is great, but you still need to type in all of the measurements from a total of six feet away and manipulate them manually to change the photos you see on the scale. Imagine if the control allows you to delete the floor plan photos, coordinate with other users, and contribute your own scale readings.

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