I’ve been reading lately about something called “The Internet Of Things”. If you don’t know what that means, it refers to the increasing interconnectivity of devices that is happening today, devices other than typical ones like your computer, smartphone or tablet and your printers. Some examples that currently exist are your household alarm system, your household thermostat, one or more of your major appliances. Other examples bandied about for the future are clothes, medical devices and cars. The interconnectivity of these devices is ostensibly to make your life easier, save energy or save you money. Or we might say to enhance your life’s “user experience”. Will having an interconnected world make your life better? I have my doubts.
According to the Wired Magazine article, “Why Tech’s Best Minds Are Very Worried About The Internet Of Things”, tech’s best minds are..umm.. very worried. Some of their worries are valid from my viewpoint; concerns over security or privacy, for example. Other concerns are PC handwringing in my opinion – developing countries might be left behind!
The Internet of Things is coming. And the tech cognoscenti aren’t sure that’s a good thing.
For years, the prospect of an online world that extends…into wearables, thermostats, and other devices has generated plenty of excitement and activity. But now, some of the brightest tech minds are expressing some doubts about the potential impact on everything from security and privacy to human dignity and social inequality.
And I’m pretty sure if we ever find a cure for “social inequality” (hint: we won’t), it won’t come from the tech community. Wait a sec…if in the future all human reproduction was done by cloning and all humans came from test tubes and had identical appearance and genetic makeup, that would be technical, wouldn’t it? Still wouldn’t work. Never mind.
It is quite possible that in the quest to simplify our lives, we will overcomplicate them. I can see it coming – I’ll use the example of “the kitchen of the future” since that’s something people of my vintage can relate to. Antique stores these days are full of kitchen of the future kitsch.
Sales Brochure: In the All Digital Kitchen Of the Future, your appliances are members of the appliance universe! They talk to each other – they talk to other appliances like them all over the world and learn how to serve you better. You’ll never run out of butter again! You’ll never forget to run the dishwasher!
Sounds dreamy. In reality, on Monday morning your toaster goes offline and you have to make toast with a bic lighter. The coffee maker refuses your login request and the password reset email never arrives. The grocer delivers 200 cases of dill pickles that your refrigerator ordered. Then you come home from work to find that your auto-chef range has made Lutefisk for dinner. No thank you. I’ll stick to analog.
Hey! you kids! Get your internet off my things!
UPDATE!: Red Button Flaw Exposes Major Vulnerability in Millions of Smart TVs. Just great! In the home of the future, TV watches YOU!
Cross Posted at Men Out Of Work Blog