The Internet of Things: And you thought Facebook was a game-changer

Heather Bertram | Design Editor

Look around you.  How many things have you used in the last five minutes that were connected to the Internet? My guess is at least one. Imagine everything you use having some sort of internet connection. I mean everything. This idea isn’t that far off. Actually it’s inevitable, and it’s already here.

So what’s going to happen?

“Things” will be connected

Alarm clocks will communicate with your local weather station to let you sleep in on a snow day. Your fridge will order groceries for you when it sees you’re out of stock. A broken washing machine will notify the company to send parts. Your car will eventually drive itself (Google’s team of experts have already implemented this idea in California). Your home will be a network of devices all communicating with each other.

Ads will target YOU

You think you’re targeted now with ads on Facebook? Imagine walking into a grocery store and picking up an item. The item then scans you through your phone and a personalized ad displays suggesting a product you might like to try. As you walk by, ads will be able to target you and you alone.

Phones will be like a magic wand

What will our phones be capable of? You’ll be able to monitor your home security or thermostat, make retail transactions and turn on and off your home appliances like a coffee pot or lights. Android will be releasing one of it’s latest projects, Android@Home. This will let your appliances communicate with Android Apps running on an Android device like a smartphone or tablet.

Long term effects

Pros

This is good news for business, health care and alleviating poverty, since we will be able to get more from products and operate more efficiently in these areas.

Cons

Less privacy. They want to connect every object, person, and pet.

Jobs will be lost. If a device can connect to another without getting you involved, where’s the need for people?

 

Ready or not, our environment will change drastically within the next five to ten years. Devices that are not connected will be just plain lonely.

 

Click here for a quick visual walk-through:


 

 

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