The Internet of Things (IoT) is an amazing technology concept that, for a long time, was just a dream. Now, this technology has taken the world by storm, and it is growing with incredible speed. Morgan Stanley actually predicts that by 2020 there will be 75 billion connected devices.
IoT applies to devices that are connected and networked together through the use of the Internet. Some of these devices are regularly used machines that are made into smart machines, using the Internet. Other devices are completely new machines that are created expressly for use in the connected environment of this new age. All of these machines are enabled by growing computer power, in packages that continue to get smaller and smaller, and using unlimited wireless Internet.
Problem 1: Too-rapid growth?
The IoT eruption is very interesting, as the Internet has been around for quite a while, and everything connected to it has been some sort of object. However, now it seems that anything from refrigerators to doorbells, to cars requires an Internet connection, and is available as a smart device.
With so many connected smart objects being used on a regular basis, what does all this constant connectivity mean for humans? There are many concerns to consider when it comes to IoT.
Problem 2: Privacy is critical
Many of these IoT devices are literally built to spy on consumers. Big Corporations are not making money off of the smart machines themselves. The real profit is found in Big Data. The sensors in these smart devices are busy gathering all sorts of information about users that is sent back to companies to be analyzed.
See also: What is the Internet of Things?The patterns found in what consumers do every day, and the choices they tend to make are used to influence the population. The more IoT devices people have, the more these corporations know about these individuals, and the easier it is to control these people through the use of their devices.
Problem 3: Big security issues
There are many hackers who can easily use these connected devices to steal important information and spy on people. Just recently there was an issue of a baby monitor hack. And last year, there was a huge breach of information that affected Sony Playstation users. Then there is the issue of security breaches caused by glitches, such as the Ring Doorbell Pro system, when users saw the wrong people at the wrong house due to a temporary mix-up.
Problem 4: Device performance and maintenance
With billions of IoT devices on the market, from wearables, to appliances to implants, to drones, how can all this data be supported? How can companies and consumers be guaranteed they are receiving the best performance? The increased pressure on the network may cause problems as far as speed, operating status and reliability of smart devices.
There is also a concern about maintenance for all these devices. Many of the companies that have produced IoT machines, are already out of business, sometimes leaving their products unusable, or full of bugs that can never be corrected. Unmaintained devices can throw all manner of information onto the Internet, and without anyone to control this output, problems can arise. How can performance issues be noticed and improved in such a changing environment?
Problem 5: Consumer getting “digital fatigue”
IoT has become such an integral part of society that consumers are becoming overly reliant on their smart devices. All this constant connectivity can take a toll on physical and mental health. Addiction is a real issue, with some people unable to leave their phones for one second, and others feeling the need to check social media sites every ten minutes. Along with that, are the possibilities that keeping these devices so near can cause actual health problems too, and there has even been recent information given about people developing “Text Neck” from staring down at their phones too much. The stress that IoT can cause is a serious concern.
Problem 6: “Big business” manipulation?
As IoT becomes more popular, big companies are manipulating consumers to buy only their brand products, in order for all their devices to work and interact with one another. Consumers are wrangled into one particular brand of IoT, and it is difficult to switch. This causes price inflations. Some examples of these big businesses are Apple and Google.
The Internet of Things is here to stay and growing at a rapid rate. Smart devices can simplify lives, offering limitless and extremely cool possibilities. The ways in which IoT can improve the environment are amazing, especially when it comes to agriculture. However, the aforementioned problems need to be considered before we all start buying coffee makers that can be started with an app on the way home or fridges that alert us when we need eggs.