How the Internet of Behaviours (IoB) will reshape society by 2025

The ways we live, work and play might soon be very different. The Internet of Behaviours (IoB) - gathering and analysing the data that billions of IoT devices provide - is beginning to blur the boundaries between our online and offline behaviours.
IoB technology gives businesses, government and healthcare providers deeper insights into how, when, where and most importantly why we use our connected devices. It’s developing fast. According to Gartner’s predictions for the future of IT in 2020 and beyond, 40% of the global population, over 3 billion people, will be tracked by IoB by 2023.

Here’s what it means in the near future.

Retail personalisation

Knowing what makes ecommerce customers tick drives higher conversions and boosts average order values. Retailers have long used ecommerce analytics to collect data on who uses their sites and how, determining the efficacy of social media and ad campaigns, promotions, website layout and other digital marketing initiatives.

IoB technology at scale is the next logical step. Early applications include the coffee chain Bahista, which in 2018 began using facial recognition technology to ascertain the gender and age of their customers. After a big data analysis of all customers’ purchases, they began suggesting personalised offers at checkout based on the typical purchase behaviours of each customer’s demographic.

The automotive sector, too, has been using IoB technology for several years; insurer Aviva launched a mobile app to track driver behaviours as early as 2013 giving them better data on which to calculate premiums and risk.

There are potential future applications for B2C businesses in every vertical; travel agents, for example, could use IoB data to suggest each customer’s ideal flight and hotel, minimising friction ahead of the purchase. Electronics manufacturers and retailers could use IoB to target products at specific elements of our daily routines. Energy providers could learn more about our lifestyles, better determining how we’re using power to give us a plan that’s tailored to us.

Financial Sector

The consumer finance sector is dependent on predictions of how we manage our money to minimise risk; it’s why credit scores exist. Deeper insights on our spending habits, enabled through IoB, can give financial institutions, credit providers and insurance underwriters the information they need to make those predictions more accurately - thus reducing the probability of losses.

Instead of relying solely on credit scores and general age and background information to make assumptions, consumer finance businesses can build a clear picture of every individuals’ own situation using IoB technology. It could also help those who have difficulty managing their finances, providing an entirely bespoke planning service similar to that offered by financial advisors - at a much lower cost.


IoB technology will transform healthcare delivery. Connected devices are already giving providers the information they need to improve outcomes at scale (more on this here); behavioural analytics give clinicians even more data with which to predict chronic diseases and other health conditions, then take preventative action.

By tracking an individuals’ real-life behaviour through IoB, predictive technologies can swiftly identify patterns of lifestyle behaviour of early symptoms of disease. For those which are preventable, Type 2 diabetes for example, clinicians can then recommend a programme of behaviour change, with IoB technology monitoring progress every step of the way.

Even for non-preventable diseases such as cancer, early detection using connected devices allow medical professionals to begin treatment earlier on; this alleviates strain on health systems as well as helping patients live longer lives.


While IoB will undoubtedly create positive change through many facets of society, there will, too, be some tricky conversations to be had: primarily, on how to control who gets to keep our personal data. Already, the debate around how Google, Facebook and Apple use cookies, pixels and other tracking technology is a heated one. And the development of IoB gives businesses large and small the scope to collect much larger quantities of customer data than they do now.

Large economies will, then, be faced with a choice: how lightly - or otherwise - to regulate. Stronger privacy laws will hamper technological development in IoB and may ultimately stifle digital transformation in some parts of the world. Conversely, a laissez-faire approach could expose billions of consumers to misuse of their data or, worse, a potential security breach.

It’s a fine line. Tech innovators who can walk it, though, will come out on top.