If you‘ve spent time with tech gurus and computer geeks you may have heard the expression “Internet of Things”. The Internet of Things is used to describe the vast array of things that can access the web.
While traditional desktop computers were once the only devices that used to hook-up to the internet, those days are long behind us.
The birth of smartphones, smart homes, smart cars and smart cities has lead us to be more connected than ever. Tesla’s 2017 Model S, for example, carries a dedicated 3G connection and a publicly available API (the language used for communicating with these cars).
Setting up smart homes has become a project and hobby for many. Smart locks and lights that can be activated through mobile devices, voice and touch are now widely available able in stores.
The ease in acquiring very small and affordable CPU’s, such as the Raspberry Pi, has also lead to many smaller projects being added to the internet. Some have taken to giving gardens their own twitter account for example.
Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have been introduced into many homes as a personal assistant. They can be used to organise your calendar, give you recipes, read emails, play music and much more.
These changes have made everyday essentials more accessible than ever. We live in an age where carrying a mobile means having an encyclopedia in our pockets at all times. Communication on social networks allows us to easily connect with friends and family. Smart device automation has also made everyday activities much easier.
These changes also bring a lot of risk. With the public availability of these devices comes the risk they can be hacked and abused by anybody online. 2017 saw some of the biggest hacks in history.
Publicly available data is also a concern. With so much being hosted online we have to decide where we want to draw the line. Even inconspicuous usage of devices can lead to issues with data leakage. Take the US Army bases being revealed due to fitness apps for example.
2018 will be sure to hold many more exciting and weird things to be hooked up online, we just need to ensure we’re careful about what we add.