It’s 6:00 AM and you are being gently awaken with a nice massage. That doesn’t get you going of course, so your bed starts slowly adjusting to a wake up position and starts a cheerful alarm melody. You are finally up, sitting on the side of your bed, and your feet are on the Smart Mat. Smart Mat slowly turns the lights on and rolls the shades up so the sunlight can come in. Oh, your coffee is almost done by the way. You walk into the living room and your SmartTV is on with the most recent updates from your favorite social networks and news channels. You are up to date with current events, cool.
As you are getting ready to leave for work, Nest, which already knows your schedule turns the AC, the lights and the appliances off. Nice. As you are leaving the house Smart Lock secures your house behind you. Check. Did I forget to mention that your Tesla car drove itself out of the garage (with a little help from its friend HomeLink) and is waiting for you in front of your house. Doors are open and your favorite song is playing. The car is self driving and you are getting ready for your meeting at 8. Your car already knows that of course, and is telling you that you will arrive at your location in approximately 25 min, according to a live Google traffic feed. Sweet.
Okay, back to reality! Wait, this is reality. Let me remind you that these products are real and around us. This is not a sci-fi fantasy- this is the Internet of Things! Cisco CEO John Chambers calls it a $19 trillion (market) opportunity. In Spain, about several million home-security systems will be completely connected to a single network built by Sigfox. It is predicted that the Internet of Things will thrive by 2025 and that we will have over 50 billion devices connected to the internet. The list of benefits and application this brings to our world is tremendous.
Now we should know better and, in fact, there is so much more to it. First thing that should come to your mind is security! How about government regulations? Data overload? Did we mention privacy issues and people loosing real human interaction and relationships? Some even go as far as saying we will trade our souls for the sake of technology (Okay, that guy was pushing it).
Yes, these are all potential consequences that could actually become real threats to our society and need to be given a lot of thought. But let’s focus on positives: improving the health care system, infrastructure & energy management, industrial applications, transportation and the list goes on. If we focus on the good and positive we should also do our best and try to minimize the negatives. Wikipedia goes into explaining both the benefits & shortcomings in far more detail.
Finally, I am going to leave you with this interesting TED talk on the Internet of Things. Enjoy.