The heating thermostat is a great example.
I have lived with them all my life. About a year ago i replaced my central heating boiler and opted for a wireless thermostat unit so that wiring would not have to be strung through the house back to the boiler.
Bottom line: the overall system is more sophisticated and perfroms less well than most I have known. A long time constant means that the house cycles between slightly too warm and slightly too cold.
Steve Jobs clearly understood that customers don't want to be told "you can get it to work if you tweak it." Customers want a delightful experience out of the box. I am ready to be delighted and, occasionally, I am.
Endorsing m2m communications in your household, in your car , and in your office is like giving the control of your own life in somebody's hands. Some hacker tweaks one of your machine controls and you never know what will happen to the things around you and your life - a hacked m2m system may decide to collide your car against the curb and kill you!
We must think of such consequences.
I have to say it too, "Wow, Peter". You sound a little paranoid. It reminds me of a scifi book I read in high school about the dish washer trying to kill the guy. Having our cars brake to a stop to avoid an accident is a great idea. Yes, it is something you feel that you should be in control of, but are you in control of your air bags? Why would you not want your house to become smarter? Do you have a thermostat that adjusts the temperature throughout the day to save power? Wouldn't it be nice if it was smarter and could monitor the comfort of the people in the house and detect when they are not there? I'm in and I don't even want to wait until it is fully debugged as long as it is user adjustable.
Wow, Peter, I consider this IoT to be another example of something that's overhyped. Much like AI and "the cloud." These are merely evolutionary advances to things we've known and loved for years and years, perhaps without even knowing it?
I've been working on machine to machine communications for my entire career. It just so happens that ever since the early to mid 1990s, many of the legacy interfaces assigned to this job have been slowly migrating to Internet Protocols (IP). This applies to industrial, settings, military, and more and more to offices and homes. If anything, it's astonishing that the public at large was unaware of this migration. In fact, I do not believe that people are unaware of this trend.
Now, it goes without saying that security issues are big when the underlying network can connect directly to the Internet, given that these machine to machine networks use IP. In some cases, this is a very good thing, of course. In other cases, you either isolarte the network, or you provide specially configured firewalls. But to be able to leverage off a global network infrastructure that already exists is a Very Good Thing.
A trivial example, that should have most people wondering what the fuss is all about, is network printers. Who is still using the parallel port to reach their printer? I bet fewer and fewer people are. But there's nothing worrisome at all about having a network connection to a printer. At home, we use WiFi for this. Very convenient. Any PC can use the printer.
What SHOULD be odd is to assume that IP is only meant to be an interface to a box with direct human interaction!
Your point is well made
I am surrounded by electronic technologies that will theoretically do a great job for me, but don't quite live up to expectations for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it is poor design (such as the complexity of programming of VCRs in 1980s and 1990s), sometimes it is nuisance tripping of lighting sensors and so on.
But unless a product is intended for deployment in a lethal-danger situation they are rarely fully refined and only debugged iteratively (as is now the norm with most software.)
I agree that when the technology is perfectly tuned to human needs I will be satisifed, but that is simply "by definition."
I have had too many "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." moments to be full of confidence. And when I get up in the middle of the night and try to turn the light on I don't want my house telling me i am meant to be sleeping."
I do agree that security and reliability must come first and human trust will follow. I MAY sign up for some of these things a few years after that, when you've fully debugged them :-)
Peter, I disagree that "the humans won't like it". Your scenarios that preceded that comment describe IoT/M2M in an early stage of development, when the machines aren't as smart or as attuned to our needs and desires as we will want them to be.
I believe most humans will welcome a vehicle autonomously applying the brakes to avoid a collision that would otherwise have occurred due to driver error or inattention.
A refrigerator that orders food for delivery based on a detailed understanding of our behavior patterns and our likes and dislikes might also be a welcome time saver.
And who wouldn't like saving money and saving energy in a smart home that doesn't just think we are sleeping, but that actually knows we are sleeping, and that it's ok to turn off some lights and appliances?
Security will need to come first. Human trust and feelings will follow, at the point in time when these systems are trustworthy and personal.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...