We keep hearing about this Internet of things. Samsung unveiled that 100% of their devices will be IOT enabled 5 years from now, with 90% of them being enabled by 2017 (that's a pretty ambitious goal if you ask me).
But what is this Internet Of Things? It's pretty vague. So before I get into why it may not be as great as some people say it will, I'll go ahead and explain exactly what it is.
Basically, the internet of things is a network of, well, things. Anything you have in you're house now is projected to be on this network. Your radio, monitor, smartphone, lamps, heating, clocks, even clothing (if it's electronically enabled) can be put on this network. The idea being that the network will be able to dynamically change along with it's surroundings. So, if you come home and you're house heating system detects that it's cold based on the temperature of you're clothing and what type of clothing you are wearing, it will crank up the heat.
The internet as we know it is composed of three basic parts. The internet user, client medium (computer), and server where the data is stored. The user inputs data, where it's received by the server, and then the user gets back a response. These inputs and responses are interpreted by the client medium, most commonly a simple computer, which displays the data to the user or sends it off to the server. More and more, however, basic everyday items are being added to the list of available mediums, and tremendous amounts of data storage servers are now being referred to as 'clouds'. In order to be 'internet of things' enabled, then, the client medium merely needs a sensor that is able to transmit data back and forth. With technology becoming increasingly smaller this is becoming easier to put onto everday items inconspiciously. Therefore, the internet of things will be comprised of many client mediums which will transmit data onto the cloud, allowing it's data to be analyzed by other 'things', thus allowing cooperation between them.
So this is exciting. It makes so many things easier! no more playing with the heat, everything just becomes more streamlined. Hell, you're coffee maker would automagically make coffee once you wake up. That's awesome!
Why not be excited?
As with everything in the technology and software world, there come vulnerablities. As of now, the pace at which software and technology is put out there with vulnerabilites, far outpace the rate at which they are being fixed. The internet of things would exponentially increase this problem. Instead of just being able to get into your computer, hackers can regulate if your coffee maker starts or not! That is true evil.
More seriously, however, the internet of things would allow hackers to access your personal data and screw with you like never before. Everything about you would be stored on the cloud. Literally, everything. The time you get up, the clothes you wear, what channels you watch, when you pick your kids up from school ,when you leave and come back from work. The list goes on, and I didn't even mention that the entire traffic system will be on it, too! Not only is the internet of things allowing more vulnerablities in the world of cyberspace, but it poses serious physical and security concerns for yourself as well. Think about it. With the internet of things, there will be more things sending data around then actual people. We won't know exactly what data it is, nor where exactly where it's going. But we do know it's going somewhere, and can be sure that some hacker is laughing at a developer's attempt at security.
Not only this, but the NSA already keeps tabs on anything they can get their hands on. They have backdoors in most every major HDD manufacturer's hard-drives. Imagine the joy they would have accessing you're internet of things history.
In the coming years, security researchers will be challenged to heights never before seen. They will have to devise ways to protect personal data in new and innovative ways. Surely, it will be an interesting time working in that industry.
But, as with every new technology comes it's harrowing negatives. Since Humanities thirst for progress will never be satiated, however, we're just going to have to figure out new ways to deal with the coming difficulties.
What do you think? Are you excited for IOT, or is there something telling you it's going to turn into some type of 1984-esque dystopia?
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