OK pop quiz… how many “smart” things are you wearing right now? No, I’m not talking about your Big Bang Theory tee shirt, I’m talking about the countless number of “smart” devices that have taken up real estate on our wrists, around our necks, in our pockets, and even on our heads (Google Glass, anyone?) With all the new gadgetry emerging, one can’t help but think… what’s next? Surely as we connect more devices to the internet, we’ll also need to consider issues like bandwidth, cloud storage, and data privacy. So what are REAL people using in terms of IoT, and where is this trend possibly headed? I checked in with some of my peers to see how they’re “connecting.”
*Names have been creatively changed to protect the nerdy
What “smart” devices do you currently use?
Sheldon: I currently have a Smart Watch, an iPhone, and a Smart Home Security System.
Leonard: I also have an iPhone, and I use a FitBit to track my steps.
Penny: I have an Android phone, and I’m thinking about purchasing a car and might get one that connects to the internet…so bizarre that I can do that.
Raj: I’m not really a gadget person but I do have a smart phone and I’m thinking about getting a FitBit.
What devices do you use that you wish could be “smart” or connected?
Penny: I know there are coupon apps for certain stores, but for many places you still have to do things the old-fashioned way and clip and save all these little pieces of paper. It would be convenient to electronically have everything in one place.
Raj: Do we have smart shoes yet? Like, I know I can wear a wrist band, but what if I don’t want to do that? Are there shoes that can automatically tell me the distance I walked, my weight, track my movements, etc.? I’d be interested in that.
Leonard: A smart coffee maker that I can control with an app on my phone.
Do you worry at all about who or what may be collecting data from your smart devices, or is this not a concern for you?
Leonard: I guess my thinking is always I have nothing to hide, if they want to data-mine how many steps I take in a day, go for it. I don’t yet have any technology that passes any sensitive information, but maybe my opinion will change in the future if I start buying more gadgets.
Penny: It does bother me that someone might see how far I drive to and from work every day, and where I go. I don’t necessarily want that information getting out and used by insurance companies, retailers, etc. I do worry about how and where everything is being stored.
Sheldon: With a Smart Home Security System, I definitely don’t want all of my data like my address and stuff stored in the cloud. I guess having all this convenience comes at a price.
As you can see from this discussion, emerging IoT technology means different things to different people; While some anxiously await the day their coffee pot talks to their phone, others are more cautious and have concerns about data security. Yet one thing is clear… telecommunications companies are going to eventually need to find a way to store the enormous amount of data our “things” are churning out, and provide them with the bandwidth to do so. You can read up in the basics of IoT and the potential problems of IoT in our other posts.