Here Comes The Internet of ThingsAugust 9th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »
Whether you can’t wait to connect or just want to be left in the dark, The Internet of Things is upon you. Although the prospect of every appliance and machine in our lives being interwoven into a single web-connected entity has been around since 1999, for the first time since the new millennium we are actually on our way to achieving it.
The onset of smartphone, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi technologies, when combined with a sluice of mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms, has opened up a world of interconnectivity that we have never seen before. It won’t be long before users will be able to control every item in their household via a single device.
A brand new world
Imagine rousing from sleep on a wintery Monday morning, the smell of coffee permeating the air – the result of your coffee maker brewing as per your scheduled wake up time. The shower has already turned itself on, right on schedule, so the water is warm by the time you step into it.
After dressing, grabbing your cup of joe, and heading out the door you are greeted by a warm car thanks to an engine that has been running for the past several minutes. The interior is warm, the ice has melted off the windshield, and you are ready to take off the second you hop in. As you drive away from your house, the automated climate control lowers the heat to conserve energy. It will not raise the temperature until 15 minutes prior to your scheduled arrival home.
Sound luxurious? It is only the tip of the iceberg that is The Internet of Things. What if you forget to lock your door on the way out, or perhaps you left your TV on as you frantically rushed to get to work? A smartphone app linked to your devices will fix the problem – your house will be sealed up tight and the TV turned off. The innovations that will come with The Internet of Things are limitless.
The flip side
Just like any new technology, there will always be skeptics who refuse to get involved, and The Internet of Things may not be welcomed by everyone. Privacy concerns are already on the minds of many tech users. NSA spying scandals and the endemic information gathering performed by tech companies has created public backlash from users. Once everything is connected, there is the legitimate fear that someone could peek into your life and know every move you make every second of the day.
Security is also a major source of concern. Where there are applications, there are hacks. Imagine sitting on your wireless smart toilet when someone hacks it, spraying water all over you when you least expect it. Sound scary? Perhaps it is farfetched, but allowing more tech into our lives invites this type of danger, and pranksters are always abound.
As much as The Internet of Things has the ability to enhance our lives, it also has the intrusive ability to open us up for attack. The result may mean a significant amount of apprehension clouding the technology, but that can only be determined with time. How people will react to everything in their household coming alive, operating on its own, and possibly communicating with them is still to be seen.
So will The Internet of Things survive in the long run, or will users be subject to billions of mechanized voices ineffectually echoing HAL 9000 as we slowly pull the plug?
Want to see how The Internet of Things can go wrong? Check out The Internet of Needy Things on our Tumblr for some hilarious results.
By Kevin Withers