More Than Meets the Eye … Internet in Disguise

IoT Fridge from Recode
IoT Fridge via Recode

In the recent years, more technology buzzwords are sprouting up everywhere: gamification, big data, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT). The latter one is where I would like to focus on.

Imagine yourself entering your own home. However, the front door can only be opened with your smartphone. Just use your fingerprint code in an app and the lock is conveniently disabled. You carry your well-filled groceries bags with daily food necessities recommended by your dearly cooking mates: mister Fridge and miss Kitchen. Both are programmed to make your struggle with your newest low carb diet easier to bear. You follow your steps to enter the hallway. Suddenly, your smartwatch congratulates you for completing your daily target of 2000 steps. With a big smile, you turn on the lights and tune in homecoming music with a snap of your fingers.

Sounds like a dream, isn’t it? Believe or not, it’s actually not far from the reality. More parts of our daily life are connecting with the internet to create more ease and convenience. Internet can be found in our furniture, electronic appliances, entertainment systems etc.

This is pretty much the gist of Internet of Things. If you then adds a gaming feature or play factor in these IoT, you have gamification. Making your life just little bit more playful. The possibilities are endless, such as rewarding shoppers for solving an online puzzle or playing “cat and mouse” game to get your food from a vending machine.

Now, the issue here is not glorifying these new technologies. We must try to look further what lies behind IoT.  What are the consequences of implementing internet in our day by day activities? Should we be aware of the underlying dangers of this digital exposure?

Privary matter from Dilbert
Privacy matter via Dilbert

Privacy is one of the concerns. Your personal preferences and needs are recorded and stored in the database. The amount of information is enormous and can be used for – in better case – improving or developing the betterment of internet in things we use. Though, the opposite might be true. Stored data or big data could be sold to other developers of even marketeers, which could turn into digital parasites surrounding your life. The worst case scenario for developers is the danger of hacking activities. Information leaked or users being blackmailed are merely scratches of the surface.

Where do we draw the fine line between internet development and basic human rights? Where can technology go without worrying the users? Do you promote IoT or would you rather keep them at bay? Share your thoughts and let me know.

 

Author: Ken L.

International Business / Marketing student in maximum efforts for every challenges ahead

2 thoughts on “More Than Meets the Eye … Internet in Disguise”

  1. I just had my first encounter with the Amazon Echo this weekend, and it was super cool!!! The thing could pull up radio, weather, but also could turn the lights on and off in the house! I was super impressed and loved it. When I think of IoT, I think of technology making life more convenient and entertaining, not invading my privacy or exposing personal information.

    1. Thanks for the reply, Wayne :). I have checked the Amazon Echo, it is a real charming and interesting device.

      So my idea about IoT might be a bit too exaggerated in the article. Nowadays, IoT has developed a lot and integrated in the daily society, just like our mobile phones.

      IoT doesn’t per se invade or expose information in a way like intruding digital hackers. Think like us, customers providing data for these devices to work with. Like in this situation:

      A furniture company has launched new made benches loaded with features (massage sensors according to your body posture, heartbeat calculator to keep track of your health, wifi connection, music player .. the lot) something you could call a smart bench. Now, these benches are only given to 10 people to use it. Each person uses and configures his or her bench differently. None of the 10 would be the same anymore when they left out of the factory. Because each bench has inherently their own database connected to a computing unit. This unit calibrates, adjusts and calculates the inputted data to the bench for the user.

      My concerns lies in that data. For the good of people, the company should release a newer bench for mass production based on that data. Evil-minded people would steal/hack to get these data to make their versions of benches.

      I agree that the hacking might be a little bit out of proportion. But our gaming consoles have become IoT as well. We all know what kind of dangers lie when the personal information was released into the public. 😮

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