Recent innovations in mobile and sensor technologies allow for creating a digital representation of almost any physicalentity and its parameters over time at any place. RFID technologies, for instance, are used to ground digital representations, which are used to track and geo-reference physical entities. In general, physical worlds and digital representations become tightly interconnected, so that manipulations in either would have effect on the other.
Integration of information and communication technologies into products anywhere and anytime enable new forms of mobile marketing in respect to situated marketing communication, dynamic pricing models and dynamic product differentiation models. Smart products are specializations of hybrid products with physical realizations of product categories and digital product descriptions that provide the following characteristics:
Situated: recognition and processing of situational and community contextsPersonalized: tailoring to buyer's and consumer's needs and affectsAdaptive: change according to buyer's and consumer's responses and tasksPro-active: attempt to anticipate buyer's and consumer's plans and intentionsBusiness aware: considering business and legal constraintsLocation aware:considering functional performing and restricted location choiceNetwork capable: ability to communicate and bundle (product bundling) with another product (business) or product setsThe vision of smart products poses questions relevant to various research areas, including marketing, product engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, economics, communication science, media economics, cognitive science, consumer psychology, innovation management and many more.
Since smart products combine a physical product with additional services, they are a form of product service system.