The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, allows machines, computers, mobile or other smart devices to communicate with each other. Thanks to tags and sensors which collect data, which can be used to our advantage in numerous ways.
IoT has really stormed the Digital Transformation. It is estimated that 50 billion devices connected to the Internet worldwide by 2020.
Let us have the Good news first:
- Smart Cars will communicate with traffic lights to improve traffic, find a parking spot, lower insurance rates based on telematics data
- Smart Homes will have connected controls like temperature, electricity, cameras for safety and watch over your kids
- Smart healthcare devices will remind patients to take their medication, tell doctors when a refill is needed & help curb diabetic attacks, monitor symptoms and help disease prevention in real time, including in remote areas
- Smart Cities & Smart Industries are the buzz-words in IT policies of many governments
- With sensors and IoT enabled Robots used in Manufacturing - new products could potentially cost less in the future, which promotes better standards of living up and down all household income levels
- Hyper-Personalization – with Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi all the connected devices can be used for specifically tailored advertising based on the preferences of the individual
- Real time alerts in daily life - The Egg Minder tray holds 14 eggs in your refrigerator. It also sends a wireless signal to your phone to let you know how many eggs are in it and which ones are going bad.
Now here are the Bad things:
- There are no international standards of compatibility that current exist at the macro level for the Internet of Things
- No cross-industry technology reference architecture that will allow for true interoperability and ease of deployment
- All the mundane work can be transferred to Robots and there is potential to loss of jobs
- All smart connected devices are expensive – Nest the learning thermostat cost about $250 as against $25 for a standard which gets a job done. Philips wireless controlled light cost $60 so your household will be huge expense to be remotely controlled
And the Ugly part:
- Remember the Fire Sale of Die Hard movie, a Cyber-attack on nation’s computer infrastructure - shutting down transportation systems, disabling financial systems and turning off public utility systems. Cyber-attacks can become common when devices are sold without proper updated software for connectivity
- Your life is open to hackers who can intercept your communications with individual devices and encroach your privacy. Imagine a criminal who can hack your smart metering utility system & identify when usage drops and assume that means nobody is home
- Imagine when you get into your fully connected self-driving car, and with some hacking a stalker’s voice come up from speaker “your have been taken” and you may not find Liam Neeson anywhere nearby, to rescue you.
All the consumer digital footprints can be mined, aggregated, and analyzed via Big Data to predict your presence, intent, sentiment, and behavior, which can be used in a good way and bad way.
We just need to manage the safety and privacy concerns to make sure we can receive the full benefits of this technology without assuming unnecessary risks.