With the gradual advancement in technology, life has changed at a rate we could never have imagined before. The growing increase in the tools and techniques of technology has made our life smart in each and every aspect. We have seen the digital world in Hollywood movies which looks beautiful but dangerous. The world is adapting these concepts and turning them into reality with new inventions that change the behaviour of our life. The smart life, or shall we say the “internet life”, has bought massive changes in our cultural activities. The internet has introduced a new standard of life which people are adapting to day by day.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things is nothing more than the wider connectivity between millions of devices which can be connected to each other within your business, your home and the wider world – personal, commercial and governmental. It is simply a concept wherein machines and everyday objects will be connected via the Internet.

It’s not even restricted to computers, it applies to all kinds of internet connectivity, such as in appliances and sensors. Think of an internet-connected bulb, door lock, washing machine, fridge, television box – you can control everything from inside or outside your house. Think of a bridge that can communicate when its concrete structure is starting to show signs of ageing in places that can’t be reached by normal inspection. Think of a car that communicates with other cars about traffic and road conditions. Think of an operation which is being done remotely. Think of a hospital which is being monitored from another hospital. Within the IoT, devices will be controlled and monitored remotely and usually wirelessly. Humans, vis-à-vis animals and others species, will be controlled and managed remotely with the power of “Internet of Things”.

Today, we have seen pollination in bees which are Wi-Fi connected setting an example of the digital world. The creation of robots is yet another example of our digital world. That’s why tech savvy people often call the next generation of digital revolution as internet of things.

Impact on Business

The digitally integrated world will create opportunities and challenges for everyone. Every business needs to get to grips with it and understand how to integrate it within their lives. Firms have the potential to become much more closely linked with their partners, suppliers and customers through the internet. In fact, it will, in time, become imperative that your business processes are integrated within the world’s supply chains.

A few things you should know about IoT

IoT is not hack proof: Internet of devices is not secure. It is not hack proof. Thus it will be a big problem that hackers can breach anybody’s security and make their world dance with just a click.

Privacy: Companies don’t make much money in providing IoT as service, but the real money is in the big data. Companies want to learn everything about you – when you wake up, when you sleep. How you eat your breakfast, when you watch a movie or when your kid gets hungry. By monitoring your patterns, they can sell ‘stuff’ to you. The real money is learning your behaviour and then controlling it. Yes sir, be scared… be very, very scared. After providing IoT as service your personal life will be monitored and each activity will be motioned.

Security (different from privacy): IoT promises to connect everything. Your sunglasses, your watch, your coffee machine, your TV, your car and even your pillow. Imagine the wired world where everything is connected. Ah! I love that Fast and Furious 7 movie where webcams are programmed to trace any one – at least movies show us the real matrix future.

The IoT devices are said to be using the open standards. It’s been 25-30 years since we started talking about open standards, but where we have reached? Nowhere. Ultimately there are 2-3 players that dominate the field – Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo…. Consumers have to take a side to adopt one standard and then build their entire technological ecosystem (own personal ecosystem) around it. Most likely, the Google device won’t talk to an Apple device or Microsoft devices.

There are tech savvy entrepreneurs who say: IoT will increase consumers’ choices and make their lives easy. There is no way the problems created by IoT will be fixed in a way to give control to the consumer. Remember what I said: big money is not in the devices but in the big data. If companies give consumers the chance to “choose”, they won’t be able to control their behaviour, hence no money. If there is no money, why the heck would big companies build IoT?

Security Concerns

The recently reported breaches are indicative of the need for the provision of overall better protection of sensitive online personal data. The IoT puts many more doors on the Internet that need to be securely locked and monitored.

Tail Piece

The Internet of Things presents businesses with many opportunities, but as I think, one of the major challenges it creates is that of “security”. At the moment, I don’t think anyone really knows how to ensure that an individual’s or business’s data remains private. But the first step towards a solution is being aware of the problem.

Already, companies hold a vast amount of data about us, including our age, income, where we shop, what we buy and what we’re interested in. Also, thanks to our smartphones, our movements can constantly be tracked. Most of the people who hold our data don’t want to control us, but to exploit commercial opportunities. All of this raises some genuine moral issues. Should companies be allowed to hold so much information about us and should they be able to sell that data to third parties? These thorny issues are reflected in the current heated political debate on data privacy.

Who has the right to access my data, and for what purposes? Should my ISP be able to scan my emails to get ideas about the kind of products to sell me? Should my government be able to scan those messages to see if I’m a potential terrorist?

I think the debate about how much access we are willing to allow third parties to our personal data gathered by The Internet of Things is set to be endless.