Gartner Research

Maverick* Research: When Things Become 'People'

Published: 25 September 2015

ID: G00278110

Analyst(s): Jenny Sussin , Kristin Moyer , Jim Tully, Don Scheibenreif


As "things" become more intelligent, they will become independent businesses that buy and sell as people — with rights and responsibilities — just as corporate entities are today. (Maverick research deliberately exposes unconventional thinking and may not agree with Gartner's official positions.)

Table Of Contents


  • *Maverick Research
  • Things Will Become "People" and Customers in the World of Digital Business
  • A Four-Phase Evolution of Things as Customers
  • Phase 1. Things as Announcers
  • Phase 2. Things as Fixed Purchasers
  • Phase 3. Things as Adaptable Purchasers
  • Phase 4. Things as People (Autonomous Purchasers)
  • The Implications of Things as Autonomous Purchasers
    • Trust
    • Ethics
    • Legal Status
  • Predicting the Needs of Things as People and as Customers
  • Recommendations

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