Back in the 1960s, there was a car­toon pro­gram called The Jet­sons. In the futur­is­tic Hanna Bar­bera car­toon, they whirled about their inter­galac­tic city in tiny air­ships, cooked food in sec­onds, and pushed but­tons that con­trolled every­thing instan­ta­neously. In the words of every child antic­i­pat­ing an excit­ing event, are we there yet? Just about.

At the recent Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Vegas, the buzz about cool prod­ucts was every­where, with empha­sis on things like flex­i­ble, flat, recharge­able bat­ter­ies, a bowl that recharges devices dropped into its mouth, and com­put­ers the size of an SD card. Mirac­u­lous in the 60s, today’s mar­ket­place dis­plays a bur­geon­ing bounty of con­sumer prod­ucts on the com­pet­i­tive edge. The real story at the show, IMHO, was M2M (machine to machine) and IoE (the Inter­net of Everything).

While the show focused on wow-factor con­sumer prod­ucts, excite­ment ran ram­pant at the IoE Con­sor­tium, where star­tups in the con­nec­tiv­ity of every­thing on the planet put their heads together. Talk focused on per­son­al­ized con­sumer expe­ri­ences, impor­tant con­nec­tions between sol­diers and med­ical facil­i­ties, stu­dents and edu­ca­tion, illness-detecting cloth­ing and the wearer, or TVs and buy­ers It’s all about prompt­ing bet­ter deci­sions through smarter power grids, improved build­ing effi­ciency, and higher indus­trial pro­duc­tiv­ity, all made pos­si­ble by the enor­mous growth in data cap­ture and analy­sis deliv­er­ing appro­pri­ate data to the right device at the right time.

IoE, M2M, or what­ever acronym you’d pre­fer to call it, is pro­jected by Cisco CEO John Cham­bers to gen­er­ate $19 tril­lion in new rev­enue by the year 2020, claim­ing con­nec­tiv­ity of every­thing as the biggest thing in tech since the Inter­net itself. Utz Bald­win, CEO of Ube, looks for a boom in the con­nected home, work­ing for real, open stan­dards to help all these con­nec­tions talk to each other. Jason John­son, man­ag­ing part­ner of Founders Den, agrees that open con­nec­tiv­ity is impor­tant so that peo­ple and devices can speak the same language.

Cisco’s futur­ists envi­sion a world with a life span nudg­ing up against 300 can­dles on your birth­day cake within the next few decades. Many new prod­ucts and ser­vices are poised to sup­port that longevity. The take­away mes­sage? If you’re not con­nected now on a num­ber of lev­els, includ­ing health, finance, util­i­ties, and shop­ping, expect to be soon. You may not have George Jetson’s lifestyle yet, but it is def­i­nitely on the way.

How does this trans­late to us as mar­keters? The infor­ma­tion pro­vided by all this data is richer than ever. It is up to us to pro­vide ever more rel­e­vant con­tent to our cus­tomers. Tak­ing advan­tage of the right data and using it to inform cus­tomers, exist­ing and poten­tial, about prod­ucts and ser­vices they don’t yet know exist, will work to amp up sales num­bers, shorten the buy cycle, and improve brand image.

At the end of the day, there is just one ques­tion. How will the M2M gen­er­a­tion of prod­ucts and ser­vices change the way you live, work, and play?