What is IoB?


The more we connected through the internet and then through our devices the more the world changed in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. Now we have enormous amounts of data gathered from our online lives. Aggregated, this can show patterns and directions we would not be able to see otherwise. These insights are what will create the internet of behavior or IoB. 

The concept was coined by Gote Nyman, a retired psychology professor at the University of Helsinki. What is of note is that he did it in 2012, much before the world had the capabilities to mine the amount of data to make it happen.  

A definition of IoB 

The internet of behavior (IoB) is built upon IoT. This is a myriad of devices we own that are connected to the internet and to each other. They make the world interactive in a different way than the real world, but just as useful. We find out about the modern world through our phones, smartwatches, TVs, cameras, and so on.  

While we use them, they also gather data about how they are employed. But more than that, we are slowly surrounding ourselves with washing machines, fridges, and vacuums that have smart capabilities and store the way we prefer them to function, our habits, and needs. Our daily lives leave behind crumbs of information that can be gathered and from it specialized systems can glean some of what we like, or want, how we react to certain situations, the creative ways we make devices help us. 

 Some of the information, in many cases, comes directly from the users, when they interact with the application, through initial settings. The rest comes from our intense relationships with smart devices, which record our movement, choices, location, the interconnectivity of our devices, do we link our smartphone to the car, the air conditioner, do we use the voice assistant. All this happens in real-time. Information gathered also refers to our spending behaviors, how we do it, when, what we dislike, expect, and avoid. On top of that data can also be collected from government agencies, social media, public domain facial recognition.  

Its implementation will try to respond to all types of behavior after having analyzed it with the help of machine learning. Data that is now confined to various apps, scattered across the internet and devices will be centralized and insights are drawn from it.  

Uses of IoB 

IoB will be a powerful tool for anyone who has a product or service to deliver and improve. Marketing and sales will benefit from it the most, but these will not be the only areas. These departments and other domains can use it to create a streamlined experience for their users because they understand their habits related to buying and using those particular products and services. They know how people interact with a city, government institutions, what they do about their health, etc., on all platforms. Customer surveys might become redundant because the data already exists without the active involvement of the user.  

The knowledge accumulated can help create better user experiences in all manner of situations. There will be data gathered from the purchasing process and this will make the process as painless as possible. Sales could be closed more easily and companies can learn to offer features that keep their customers satisfied. Providers will send real-time notifications about outlets, promotions, events, destinations, and much more according to the preferences of the users. 

All manner of campaigns from commercial and non-profit organizations can be tested, so the best one gets deployed. Governments can create support programs with the right customization, or get feedback about new laws and initiatives. 

In healthcare patient status can be more easily monitored, as well as the commitment to treatments, in parallel with getting more accurate data about lifestyle which can lead to personalized recommendations and interventions, reducing overmedicalization or missed signs of malaise. 

The future is about personalization. Having the ability to do that will make any company able to offer truly premium products, adapted to the target audience. IoB will make this possible because it enables their specialists to constantly test and tweak. 


IoB sounds wonderful, yet it must make us wonder how we gather and use data. Since here data will be of a very sensitive nature, making sure companies have state-of-the-art cybersecurity systems is a must. At the moment standards for the safe creation and delivery of these devices are still lacking. 

The appearance of IoB will lead to new kinds of cyber-attacks and to new attempts of phishing. The care we will give to protecting this data will be the number one strategy to keep customers happy. 

Questions of privacy and the ethics of data use will become even more stringent. It will force companies to be more straightforward about how the anonymize and encrypt the data. 

Gote Nyman was being very careful about consent in data use when he first came up with the concept. It might be useful for specialists to consider his vision and incorporate it into their future plans for personalization. 


The new technology is a hybrid between science, data processing, and behavioral psychology, a combination that is used correctly can prove immensely valuable. IoT, the framework on which IoB will develop is ever-growing. Humanity is hungry for smart devices and experts estimate that by 2030 the market will grow to 24 billion devices and a value of 1.5 trillion dollars. What we do with all this is up to us.  

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