Friday, 24 January 2014

Internet Of Things

The latest rage at CES 2014 was the "Internet of Things", a term used to describe the connectivity between traditionally non-computing devices such as home appliances, entertainment systems, monitoring hardware, vehicles and various other items in your home. The pervasiveness of home Wi-Fi and cheap and small chipsets, along with innovative new ideas from the manufacturers on value-added functionality, has driven forth a whole new wave of Wi-Fi enabled devices that communicate with each other, with your phone app, and cloud-based services to help you use and manage them.

Just imagine a future where your refrigerator talks to your scale when you are over-weight, which in turn talks to your fitness watchband and your treadmill, along with your alarm clock and toothbrush, to figure out how to schedule the best time for exercise and eating correctly. Your coffee machine turns on in the morning based on your alarm clock setting, which in turn also ensures you don't forget to brush. Your "smart-fork" reminds you on how to eat properly and for how long. Perhaps it suggests to your car when you are using the GPS to look for fast-food restaurants that you may want to think about a healthier alternative, while your refrigerator orders healthy alternatives from a local grocery store. Meanwhile, your smartphone processes all this data and schedules time for exercise, reminds you of your healthy-habit goals and warns you when your metrics are not up to par. The data is also sent to your doctor who monitors your health and also monitors whether you are taking your medications correctly, which also have Wi-Fi enabled modules built into their lids. And your dentist knows exactly how long you brush and when you smoke.

Sounds absurd, doesn't it? But all this is possible with the "Internet of Things". How this technology will be used exactly is still awaiting to be seen, but with more and more devices latching into the cloud, your data will be even more transparent to the countless corporations making these devices. The data will be used to improve products, but also to establish a pattern on how you use them and I am sure it will be used for targeted marketing campaigns. The granularity of your data cloud revolving around your own individual lifestyle movements and life-patterns will be used to greater potential to manipulate your choices, for better or for worst!

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