If you’re a complete newbie to the world of technology, you might find yourself scratching your head when you hear about “The Internet of Things.” In this post, I’ll shed a little light on this modern phenomenon that’s all about increasing interconnectivity in virtually all aspects of our day-to-day living.

First of all, what is the Internet of Things?

Due to the development of increased wireless Internet capabilities and ever-growing smartphone penetration, conditions have never been riper for the Internet of Things (or IoT). What is it anyway? Essentially, it’s grounded on the concept that everything – including you and me as well as all devices that come with an on/off switch – can interconnect and exchange data automatically, resulting in improved efficiency.

Think AirDrop, except that you’re not connecting your Apple device with another Apple device, but with your TV or microwave oven. It sounds a little bizarre, but the Internet of Things isn’t just limited to everyday devices such as home appliances, cell phones, and wearable devices. Machine components such as an airplane’s jet engine are also included.

How will the Internet of Things affect my life?

If you prefer to look on the bright side of things, then you can say that the IoT can make life easier due to the seamless integration of analytics and devices. Though nobody has been able to paint a complete and accurate picture of what the future would look like once IoT takes over. Businesses, large and small, are forecasted to be one of the things that the IoT will highly impact. Another area is transportation.

Okay, IoT can bring great things, but at what cost?

With more devices connected with each other, chances are there will be a greater number of security threats – not just to companies but to individuals as well. These devices will produce massive amounts of data and so far security measures to protect all this information have been minimal. Other issues that have risen up include data sharing and privacy. For example questions have been raised about how a user can choose to opt out of having their data collected or how anonymous it can be.

As the IoT becomes more and more ubiquitous, these are all issues that we’ll all need to think about and address – and fast. According to Gartner Tech Research, there were around 3.9 billion connected things in 2014 and they’re projecting that number to increase to 25 billion in the next five years.

14 Comments
  1. I’m not sure if I’m really looking forward to IoT, I’m already worried my bank details might not be safe already. I think the fact my computer could be connected to my TV or fridge is kinda worrisome, it adds more stress if you think about it, because most of the time bad people find the way to intrude. I can imagine IoT being abused by criminals. Not sure I’ll want to participate willingly.

    I mean the idea of… let’s say, a smart fridge that can give you all the nutritional info of each item in it (let’s pretend it fetches the info from the internet and there is some sort of sensor to automatically detect what food you grab and how much) that would be awesome…. but at what price? I can imagine so many security threats…

    • It gets worse when you remember recent news articles saying Samsung TVs are spying on its owners – and that Samsung has no intention of stopping.

      The IOT is a good idea, but we need better security to prevent as many intrusions as possible, and better laws to prosecute those who manage to intrude anyways. It’s bad enough we have people trying to steal our identities, but do we really want them listening to us through our coffee pot?

  2. That’s a really interesting article because there’s a lot of information in it. I guess looking at the IoT, it seems really interesting because people can truly abuse it but you just have to know how to do it. We really need to be careful on the internet, especially with banking.

  3. Thank you for that jargon-free explanation of the “Internet of Things”, I had heard the term bandied around quite alot but had no idea what it actually entailed.

    I’m really not sure I like the idea of all my devices being linked – to me it seems like there is more opportunity for things to go wrong!

  4. I’ve heard this term maybe a couple of times, so I appreciate the insight on what it means. Kind of like a sci-fi concept brought to real life. I can see some advantages of the Internet of Things, but there are definite drawbacks, like security concerns. And I’d hope if one thing goes wrong, it doesn’t affect everything else linked to it.

    • That’s what I’m concerned about too. If something goes wrong, there’s every chance that everything linked to the system will stop working. That really would leave you up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

      • Absolutely. I think you’re right and there is a chance actually to it but you need to know how to protective yourself.

  5. Security is going to be an issue. The more types of devices that we connect to the network the more ways people have to hack and or exploit us. I remember being weirder out by internet access on cellular phones (This was before smart phones). I used to joke about what crazy combinations would be next. Like a toilet that microwaved frozen meals etc… I think I just lacked to foresight and vision of what could be at that time.

    • Well, to be honest, security is always an issue. Whether is credit cards, personal info or plainly just a game account that you don’t really care about much anymore. The internet of things makes this fear rational, making you realize that anything you type into the internet stays there. For good.

      • I think it’s just a sense of resignation more than anything else, I think I gave up being outraged about my lack of privacy around 18 months ago. Since then, nothing surprises me any more.

    • As another user mentioned, security will always be an issue, it was before the internet appeared and it’s still now. But I have to agree with your comment since almost everything is connected to this enormous network. I’m really looking forward to see all the security measures that companies will bring us, and if they aren’t enough, we need to stop and think twice before buying something with this particular feature, I guess.

  6. Even if I’m actually young and not new to the internet related things, this stuff is still confusing for me, lol. The internet is becoming an essential part of our lives, okay, but it’s really that necessary to put in on almost everything? I agree with TV, video games, consoles and technological related things, but come on, the other day I heard my uncle talk about how his sneakers were connected to the internet.
    It’s fine, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary for me.

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