API Enabled Toys For Our Children

When it comes to the Internet of Things, APIs have a bright future. I tend to focus on the greater good when showcasing APIs, but occasionally I get tripped up by the market potential of APIs. I came across the Baby Toys Get an App Extension post in the New York Times this week, and I can't think of a more lucrative market for API interaction via a smart phone, than a baby or toddler's toys.

First, can you image every mom or dad in America with access to their kids toys via their iPhone. Talk about an emotional connection. You have a real-time chord that is attached to a parents heart string. So if you are at work, missing your child that is at home, in day care, or even when you are at home with them, you have the opportunity to interact with your child via their crib, playstation or other toy? I'm not even going to start profiling the toys and the opportunity here.

Second, can you imagine the data available for toy, clothing and other manufacturers? You have a daily, permanent connection between a parent and their child via the toys that are most important to a child each day, and by default, what is important to the parent. With API connectivity between this toy and a parents smart phone via the home wifi connection, there is an unlimited flow of data about what impacts a child's life, and their parents world each day.

As the connection between APIs and the Internet of Things comes into focus for me, I get excited about opportunities like connecting our children's worlds to our smart phone enabled worlds. Then as soon as I get excited, I immediately get freaked out. Think about the opportunity, for…well, exploitation. We need to make sure there are best practices for terms of use, privacy and security in these fascinating, and new possibilities within the API space.

Lots to think about with APIs and the Internet of Things.