I see, so there might be popular confusion between making smart appliances smarter and having them connected to the internet. IoT is about the latter, but the former is really the technology opportunity.
Bert, when I was in Singapore a few years ago I saw an HBO movie about a guy who wired his computer up so it operate door locks and turn lights on and dial up services etc. and it turned out it was a female computer (well program of course) and it began to order in all these upgrades getting technicians out etc. and then ended up locking him in and trying to bump off his girl friend as it was jealous. I never saw the end because I had to go to a meeting but after watching that, IDIOT seems like the perfect manner in which an ex could make your life hell :-)
I will be ripping the antennae from the Things and not buying any Things which would not work without them. I do not see a reason for toaster, fridge, range, dishwasher, lights etc.. to talk to each other, me or anything else, specially any smart-thing (since these are to be hacked). If I leave my house with the range on I fully deserve the consequences (planned or not...). I also hate sharing any data I generate since I am not being paid for that.
chanj0: The company I worked for as chief engineer many years ago had products that did exactly that. They are still around today, with the 3rd or 4th generation of those designs. My old boss has one of the OLD versions completely controlling his house, with abilities way beyond what you describe. They market primarily to commercial, educational/government, and industrial markets. Commercial large HVAC systems have used the "air direction" method for at leasty 35 years that I know of; these are known as VAV (Variable Air Volume) controllers. Biggest problem with those is few of the folks who maintain and control these understand how to optimize them. Just imagine what havoc home users could perpetrate!
When properly used, these systems not only provide optimum indoor environments, they also save TONS of energy. Way back in the '70s (the first "energy crisis"), my company offered to install and maintain these systems for FREE for a 25% share of the energy savings! Even so, it was a VERY hard sell. Still is.
@antedeluvian - Tell me about it! My pet peeve with my automated sprinkler system is that if I change the frequency of watering, like when I've reseeded an area and need to water every day, when I change it back to every 2 or 3 days, I'm never sure which days it's going to water and which days it isn't. I'd like to see an indication of which days are watering days. The old mechanical sprinkler timer I had at my previous house with it's rotating disks and pegs to indicate when to water was better in that respect. Get used to this sort of stuff, I guess...
I'd settle for a washer above the dryer that would automatically drop the wet clothes into the dryer. How dumb (and bad for your back) is that to have to pull heavy wet clothers out of the washer and put them into the dryer time and time again when gravity could work for you instead of against you? And save floor space at the same time (at the expense of vertical space). How come some innovative (lazy?) person hasn't come up with that yet?
To me, having single point of control can be a drawback. What if I lost my smartphone, I would lost control of my stove, microwave, dishwasher. Seriously, it actually makes operation of appliances a lot more complicated than it is today.
Controlling of light in a central panel have been done way before smartphone era. Application of IoT, I believe, has to be smarter than this. For example, light is turned on and off depending on whether there are people in the room. Motion sensing light switch?
In my opinion, at this stage, one of the area of IoT development is data collection. For example, weather pattern, temperature change and rain level in various area around the globe. Those information can be fed to a central open database for scientists to study. With this said, IoT device shall be extreme low power consumption and can be deployed easily in remote location.
I'm pretty sure there are a lot of industrial and military application of IoT. For home use, if the value proposition is to make your life easier and to save money for you, it would be a good selling point. A smart A/C that can direct where temperature needs to be maintained may be one of the many applicable ideas. The idea involves small temperature sensors and human sensors (e.g. IR sensor and motion detection) being installed all over in your home. The duct to direct cold or hot air into your different room wil be controlled remotely depending on the sensor information.