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Has IoT Reached The Standard We Predicted?

01/12/2016 14:29

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(Image abstracted from Shutterstock)

For the past so many years, we've been told that the age of IoT would emerge and revolutionise the planet very soon. Though, the concept of IoT has been around for the past so many decades, we haven't yet seen it properly materialise.

Those who've seen Back To The Future 2, or have read comics of Iron Man will understand that the concept was conceived a long time ago and was predicted to happen somewhere in the middle of this decade.

Unfortunately, it has not!

Considering the leaps in science and technology we have experienced over the past century, many scientists and technological enthusiasts predicted that the IoT would become pretty common by 2015.

However, gadgets like Smartphones and smart watches are the only pieces of technology we have today which can, technically, fit under the IoT umbrella.

We'd imagined IoT to be something like a couple of devices communicating with one another. For example, your alarm clock ringing early morning. And as you stroll out to the kitchen, rubbing your eyes, you find your coffee already hot and ready for you to drink.

You take a shower and head out to find your car ready in the driveway. Your TV, lights and air-conditioning switch off on their own accord once you leave the house. And after the day of work, when you come back, they turn on automatically without you going through the hassle of finding the right switches.

Unfortunately, after all that we've achieved, we still haven't been able to develop the technology which does exactly that. This giant market which we call the "Internet of Things," encompassing everything from wearables to autonomous vehicles to smart homes/offices/factories/cities, simply does not exist.

Yes, there is change afoot, which is transforming our industries, lives and the whole world. Change being driven by fundamental technological shifts: cheaper and more powerful hardware; nearly ubiquitous connectivity and cloud computing.

However, there is still no broad, homogeneous set of applications which we can refer as the IoT. Instead, there are many, many, varied sets of applications, each enabled by exactly the same tech trends, but manifesting themselves in different ways.

In order for us to ensure that we develop a world where the benefits of connected devices outweigh their risks, we need to start looking more closely at what is going on.

Until now, only hackers have been able to intertwine different IoT devices to work together for a single objective. Only a month ago, we saw the largest ever DDoS attack in history, carried out against KrebsOnSecurity, using a botnet of combined IoT devices.

We've also found reports, coming from the likes of Edward Snowden, of spying agencies combining different devices together to spy on the population.

If private companies today start looking at and work on these examples, we're sure that they will be able to achieve the feat for the first time ever.

This requires a lot of collaboration between companies expert in different fields. For example, Samsung can start working with the smart car developer Tesla to create a system of interconnected devices working on the theory of Internet of Things.

Such feats do seem improbable but are certainly not impossible. And the sooner we expand our communications, the sooner we expand our world.

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