We know you want to look smart. You may have heard the term IoT thrown around quite a bit lately and not too sure what it actually means. Well, let us debunk it for you. Rest assured that you will be able to engage in a rather convincing conversation and look like an intellectual techy in front of all your peers by the end of this article. Who knows, maybe even impress the boss?
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you would know that the Internet of Things (IoT) is technology’s current conquest. For the past year or two, technology elites have been discussing about the benefits of IoT and the positive impact it will have on our lives; by simply hyper-connecting everything in it. By everything, I really mean anything and everything.
Here we go!
1. So what is IoT?
It is where everything is connected seamlessly with the use of unique identifiers, from humans to objects and even animals. When I say ‘connected seamlessly’, I mean the transference of information over a network that does not require the use of a computer before it gets to you.
With IoT, the physical world will be transformed into a one huge information system with everything interconnected and able to communicate with one other. A pretty cool concept that is coming to life if you think about it, for information made readily available to you in an instant.
2. What is Smart home and the connection it has with IoT?
Imagine being able to check if your oven has been turned off, while you are still in the office; that is essentially what a Smart home is. It is a blanket term to describe devices made for the home that can be connected to a network. This means that these devices can be remotely controlled and also provide real time information regarding the specific device.
Smart home is a part of IoT. IoT is made up of many parts including other devices like wearables, wireless cameras and automation devices. It is essentially any device or gadget that can be controlled remotely and does not require the end user to use any form of intermediary before being able to obtain the information they desire.
3. How will IoT and Smart home affect my daily life?
IoT and Smart home will bring with it a huge relief to all the lazy bums and muddle heads like myself. With IoT, it is able to count and quantify everything around it. This includes being able to monitor water or electricity consumption, when food in the fridge is going bad or when light bulbs are about to fuse, information is literally at the tip of your fingertips.
With Smart home, the anxiety of not knowing whether your oven is turned off or door is locked, will no longer pose a problem. The status of all electronically programmed devices will be available on your Smartphone or remote controlled device.
4. Who are at the front lines of Smart home?
Currently, the two companies who are at the front lines of Smart home innovation will be Samsung’s SmartThings and Belkin’s WEMO. From door sensors, crock pots, coffee machines, intermediary plugs for electrical appliances that are not Smart home ready to GPS keychain tracking devices to keep track on your little ones.
It is no longer just basic remote control devices or sensor lights that these elites are interested in. Smart home manufacturers are looking at taking everything that a regular home consists of and implementing it with the Smart home concept.
IoT and Smart home mean serious business and Samsung’s CEO Mr BK Yoon has already set the stage for future developments. In his keynote speech given at CES 2015 last month, he said that all Samsung products will be IoT capable within the next five years.
5. What potential problems will IoT pose?
Being a mild control freak and conspiracy theorist of sorts, two major issues quickly come to mind; the security and invasion of our personal data.
Security, security, security. It always boils down to security, it is difficult to not think about how IoT may be a potential Pandora’s Box worth of issues. If everything and anything is hyper-connected to a network, this means that all the information needed to run a scam or siphon money is available at a hacker’s fingertips. Unless the elites are able to figure out an iron clad protection scheme, IoT to me is just another technology that will not be able to serve its real purpose.
With all the devices being able to calculate, quantify and monitor our every movement, it will run the risk of invasion. For those in sales, this spells the end of your afternoon high tea sessions and hour long spa sessions. Your boss can now catch you skiving within an instant! However, if tracking is intended, IoT will do wonders. Your pet dog will never be lost again and for the suspicious paranoid employers, you are now able to track your domestic helper’s every movement!
So there you have it, enough information to hold your ground during a conversation with your colleagues or friends regarding IoT or the Smart home. There is without a doubt, that the benefits of IoT will make our lives easier, but would it worth the switch if this means that you run the risk of losing your personal data? Well, we leave that all up to you.
By Geralyne Kaye Ong / February 4, 2015 2:00PM GMT+8
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