What is the IoT?
The Internet of Things simply put relates to common everyday devices such as home appliances, cars even some children’s toys which have network connectivity, over the Net, through embedded electronics, software, sensors and so on. In other words they can talk to each other and to other applications on the Net.
Pretty clever? Well yes and no.
Should we be wary of the IoT.
Not even George Orwell in his novel 1984 could have come up with something quite this sinister when he coined the term ‘big brother is watching you’. Even if we had no concerns about large corporations listening in on everything we do, (what we are saying, where we are going, what we are buying) there is always the concern these devices could be hacked and our activities highjacked by the criminal element which is ever too present on the Net.
Fantasy you might think but not when you consider many of these devices have cameras, location services and data collecting capacity not to mention remote control.
But is the IoT beneficial?
Well yes it can be. Connecting devices to the Net can improve the integration of the physical world into computer based systems improving their efficiency, accuracy and functionality. Taking the human factor out of the equation may well reduce errors and improve the service for us all but of course there will always be a trade-off.
We may well be prepared to accept the trade off when it is considered the IoT has uses far beyond our smart TVs and cars. It can be used for medical implants, improvements in cropping and animal husbandry and providing assistance to emergency first responders.
So now we are considering functionality that will save lives and not just make things easier for us.
Is the IoT things here to stay?
Yes it certainly is and it has been around a lot longer than we think. Now, through advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning we can definitely entertain the idea of the machines (computers) taking over the world. Good or bad the IoT of things will play an increasingly greater part in our lives. Whether we will be able to mitigate the negatives is the real question.