With all the hype about the internet of things, it makes you sit and consider what is a connected device and what are we actually trying to monitor?
In laymans terms, the connected device is anything that provides feedback on a condition. That's fine for dumb devices like PVRs, furnaces, air conditioners and stoves ... but what about smart devices? Ones where the same input does not automatically give the same output. I'm talking about human beings ... and we are also "things" in the internet of things.
Can you imagine a world where your political representative is so in tune with their constituents that they can get immediate feedback from them and vote on propositions accordingly? (Caveat: It's well known that your representative will automatically vote according to party lines no matter what the voters say ... a sad point for democracy) But imagine, if you will, that the people are in control, what they say matters in real time and can be monitored as such. That is the "True Internet of Things" and not just some passive monitoring device on the network that spits out pre-programmed responses. It's dynamic, not static. Ever evolving like the human condition.
Whomever coined the term 'Internet of Things' never saw the big picture ... or maybe I should say, whomever reported on the guy that coined the term internet of things never understood the big picture. We're just as important as the devices we manufacture, so why aren't we included in the conversation?
I really think that our biggest risk is Little Brother (corporations) rather than Big Brother. The government will, of course, be trying to get involved in regulation and monitoring with some level of success, but they tend to not be all that effective at a lot of things and we can pass laws to limit what they can do.
My biggest fear is the insurance companies. Today, some car insurance companies are offering GPS driving monitoring system with the promise of discounted rates (unless you happen to drive five-over from time to time). I'm guessing it won't be too long before they reverse their marketing and insist that drivers use one or be charged more. Probably not long after that, they'll start dropping drivers at the first sign of anything that their committee considers unsafe or undesirable.
I could envision a time when health insurance companies require activity monitoring devices to be worn at all times. Have a smoke? No coverage for lung cancer of emphysema. Eat fast food too often or don't exercise enough? No coverage for any weight related conditions.
You mentioned Big Brother, if you happened to see the Fox special "Your Secret's Out" you might have learned about the construction of the NSA's new Utah Data Center in Bluffdale and their 5 zettabyte storage facility. (Not to mention a 3 million gallon water tank just to cool all the CPUs.) Yikes, zettabytes? I admit I had to look that one up myself - and IoT is still mostly on the drawing board! BB is here now, whether we admit it or like it or not...
Internet of Digital Things would be IoDT
But that doesn't negate your point about the bacon -- I currently have a team devoted to the task of trying to ensure that bacon will be served (will you be joining us? :-)
IMO the proper term should be Internet of Digital Things (IDioT). The last thing I want is hackers taking control of my IDioT fry-pan and ruining my bacon.
If they don't serve bacon, will you eat your propeller beanie? [Just kidding!]
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.