Fritz Wiltman | ENES 464 | Blog Post 2: Disruptive Technologies | July 18, 2019
The Internet of Things, IoT for short, is the connectivity of smart devices in a home, business, or similar location, that are able to communicate with each other and people to perform specific tasks. These specific smart devices are referred to as “Things”. Things make everyday mundane tasks much more convenient due to their connectivity. When you wake up in the morning, simply ask your Amazon Echo to start your day; after saying a few words while laying in bed, your lights will turn on, coffee will begin brewing, your television will turn on and tune into your morning favorite channel, and so much more.
IoT has already begun disrupting the current technological landscape, and will only continue to do so at a faster rate in the near future. According to Cisco, the total number of connected devices worldwide will rise to 50 billion by 2020. This means on average a person will have between six and seven smart devices.
Having all of your devices interconnected, working through one “brain device” (like an Amazon Echo) generally has a very positive impact on the global society. For example, in the near future farmers can closely and easily monitor their crops or livestock leading to a reduction in waste and increase in quality production. At-home doctor’s appointments can be performed instead of in-person visits, decreasing the amount of general pollution in a town or city due to drastic decreased use of non-reusable products for sanitary reasons. The possibilities are almost endless with IoT.
One issue is lurking in the shadow of the endless convenient possibilities, and on the mind of many skeptics: the more information being transmitted through these devices connected to the Internet, the more opportunity for one’s information to become compromised, landing in the hands of someone with malicious intent.
IoT has immense benefits for users globally, but equally as many potential risks by putting millions (or even billions) of people’s sensitive information in a vulnerable places. As long as security remains a top priority of creators of Things, this will limit the amount of risk with these devices, allowing IoT to integrate into our global society seamlessly.