As with most things in life, there is a co-existing benefit and risk to all that we do. This couldn’t be more prevalent than in the rapidly accelerating technology industry and the looming internet of things – aka the IoT effect. Having a good understanding of both sides will empower you to greatly reduce the gap between risk and reward.
The IoT Effect
These are a few examples of how the IoT effect will affect you at home and in life:
With the introduction of the Amazon Echo and their releasing it to the public for developers to use, many of the mundane tasks we perform, often without thinking, will soon be done though voice.
No longer will you have to suffer the tedious lifting of the hand to flick that light switch, typing on the keyboard to play a song, or the tiresome burden of looking out the window to get the weather report.
This could make for a rather raucous home for a larger family. On the flip-side, if you live alone you’ll finally have a legitimate excuse for talking to yourself.
Errands are a nuisance. No one enjoys doing them, but they must be done. Getting groceries after a long day of work is never fun and something always gets forgotten. With the IoT effect, your connected appliances will be able to automatically notify the delivery drone to ship out whatever food and amenities you’re running low on.
Of course not everything can be delivered and there will be challenges with restricted items. While it would be supremely helpful for someone with disabilities or pain to have their prescription delivered, it could also make things harder for parents to control who is re-stocking the liquor cabinet.
Working at Home
Forget autonomous self-driving cars. How about driving yourself from the bed to the home office? More and more people are enjoying the luxury of working from home and with the IoT effect, it’s only going to become easier to do. With all the voice command-able, connected devices and telepresences it will be easy to talk biz with your boss in your skivvies (just don’t get up to refill that coffee!).
Certainly there are many professions that cannot be done from home and even ones that can will still require going into the office once in a while. But there will be a great opportunity to do much of the work tasks at home first. That said, many people are finding they actually prefer working out of an external office, rather than a home office. There is comfort, camaraderie and opportunity for the growth of ideas when working with others. Also, it’s much easier to leave work at work.
Control of Home Energy
Lights. Camera. Action! More like: Lights. Blinds. Heat! Sensors and settings like the time of day, room temperature, outdoor temperature, light filtration, etc. can be used to control your lights, window shades, temperature of different rooms. Because using voice commands is just too much dang work. Save your pipes for yelling at the robot when it glitches while doing your work from home.
Having all these energy-sucking functions automated will have the desired effect of lowering your energy bill and of course reducing unnecessary waste.
Connected to Health
Sleeping. Walking. Running. Eating. Everything you do with and put in your body can all be tracked, recorded and analyzed. There has never been a great time in history to have such control over our health (or lack thereof).
The downside effect could be that in the future, it may be possible for health insurance companies to use this data against you. Is your Fitbit beeping at you to get moving? Better get on it!
Of all the ways the IoT effect will affect you at home, security is going to be the #1 issue. Each new fancy connected smarthome device leaves another opportunity for a weak link for hackers to access. And with such a plethora of data being tracked, they can potentially access a lot. Everybody has an internet footprint and we all keep sensitive data in our computers, tablets and smartphones. Even your speakers, microphones and cameras can get hacked leaving your entire home life open for a true reality show for eavesdropping hackers.
Of course any reputable company will go to great lengths to ensure the strictest security, but it will never be enough. There is just too much going on, too much data and too many ways for would-be hackers to gain access. The best thing you can do is educate yourself on how to keep your data safe, strictly adhere to the best security practices and use multiple levels of security protection.
Cybrary is an excellent, 100% free, resource to educate yourself on cyber security and keep your data safe from the IoT effect
How the whole IoT effect will play out for our future and the way it will transform our everyday lives is yet to be discovered.