Wired.com has an article about the “Internet of Things” at
This is a short article and does not go too in depth, but it assumes that more things like household appliances will become “smart” and interconnected; and discusses the data security implications of this. It is correct – certain data will be vulnerable as “things” begin transmitting that data. Here is the setup of the piece:
Internet. Things. Add the “Of” and suddenly these three simple words become a magic meme — the theme we’ve been hearing all week at CES, the oft-heralded prediction that may have finally arrived in 2013.
While not devoid of hype and hyperbole, the Internet of Things (IoT) does represent a revolution happening right now. Companies of all kinds – not just technology and telecommunications firms – are linking “things” as diverse as smartphones, carsand household appliances to industrial-strength sensors, each other and the internet. The technical result may be mundane features such as intercommunication and autonomous machine-to-machine (M2M) data transfer, but the potential benefits to lifestyles and businesses are huge.
But … with great opportunity comes great responsibility.
They lost me at “opportunity”. My question for this board is – Is it truly beneficial to have a smart appliance? Consider the following scenario from the article:
Now, let’s take one popular and heatedly discussed example from CES to sum up these stages of maturity: the smart refrigerator. In the personification stage (1), the refrigerator owner scans cartons of milk with his smartphone, which triggers a reminder when the milk expires. In the semi-autonomous sensor network stage (2), the refrigerator detects the milk on its own and issues reminders across a broader range of connected apps. In the autonomous and independent stage (3), the refrigerator orders replacement milk just before it’s empty or expires — entirely on its own.
This was the popular and heatedly discussed example? If your T-2000 refrigerator orders milk and you don’t want it to you now have to override an order. This is the future? In the example above adding a task (scanning the milk date) is seen as progress because it will trigger a reminder? If you go thru milk fast you know to buy more often or larger quantities. If you do not use milk fast, you buy less. No reminders needed. What is the advancement here? What is the greater efficiency that offsets the startup cost? I don’t see it.
Maybe, MAYBE, a refrigerator that can suggest a grocery list is something that may be considered practical. However is it truly worth it to fundamentally redesign an appliance and install a microprocessor and a whole host of scanning hardware to accomplish something that is usually written on an old envelope at the last minute? You know what your household staples are and you know when you want or need something new, how does the introduction of technology help here? The same with other appliances, unless you have Rosey the maid to load and unload your washer and dryer and fold and put away your laundry, what good is a brain in a washing machine? Am I just a Luddite or do you agree that this kind of thing is ultimately superfluous?