In techy people speak, the Internet of Things is a giant network of physical objects that are embedded with software, sensors, electronics, and network connectivity. In normal or technologically impaired people speak, it’s basically a network where you can hook up any appliance or object to a cloud-like network so you can run your life on electronics. Imagine waking up in the morning and with a touch of a button, your coffee is hot and ready for you along with your breakfast and newspaper waiting to greet you.
Aside from running your home on a giant network so you cut down on the number of chores in your home, the Internet of Things can potentially save a lot of time, money, and at best, lives. Imagine running an amusement park—the sheer amount of time, energy, and money it takes to pour into keeping up operations is too large for the not-so-good-at-math people to visualize. In this hypothetical amusement park, a bolt becomes loose on one of the roller coasters, also known as a lawsuit waiting to happen. In a network with the Internet of Things, the network can detect where the bolt is lose and signal to hypothetical construction robots to fix the loose bolt before the roller coaster comes crashing down (but I honestly highly doubt that one loose bolt will cause an entire roller coaster from crashing down).
While the advantages of saving time, money, and lives on a giant cloud network makes the Internet of Things sound like a good idea, can the Internet of Things turn networks from The Jetsons to 1984? Running lives on the grid (the literal power grid) does posit the risk for hacks. In order to maintain the stable security needed to fight off potential hacks (because you could end up with multiple Big Brothers watching you but Edward Snowden already made it abundantly clear a few years ago that the government is already spying on us), there needs to be a standardized system to keep up a stable security unit.
Unfortunately, with the variety in hardware and software, is it actually feasible for developing security standards? Aside from the potential risk of someone hacking your baby monitor and spying on you and your baby from your crib, what will happen the day that the system crashes and you can no longer run your household operations that you’ve grown accustomed to? In a transitional period, a technological disaster might not be as bad but once society grows accustomed to living life off the Internet of Things, the danger of the dependency still exists. That doesn’t mean not utilizing it at all. Is it worth the risk and investment to continue to create the future?