Is The Internet Of Things Doomed?
The Internet of Things (IoT), a scenario in which objects, humans and technologies are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction, is no wonder the latest industry buzzword. In his latest blog, Jason Bloomberg, an expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx notes, “While the IoT hype is good for business in the short term, there’s this annoying little problem we call reality that has an inconvenient habit of throwing water all over our Wicked Witch of Inflated Expectations!”
He has noted a number of reasons why IoT does not deserve the hype, despite the buzz around it, even though there are potentials in this technology.
Security breach: A recent Fortinet study found significant concern about sensitive data being exposed as a result of IoT. Overall, 70 percent of the survey participants indicated that they are “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about data breaches or having sensitive personal information compromised. A majority of respondents expressed fear over privacy and trust issues.
“Today, the most common IoT sensor is the lowly RFID tag, found in everything from store merchandise to warehouse equipment to passports to that “security” (ahem) badge that gets you into your office at night. And what kind of security does that tag sport? Nothing. And you don’t even have to touch the thing to hack it. Simply being in the general vicinity is good enough. Not like your passport is ever in the general vicinity of lowlife like you find in passport lines at airports,” he says.
Privacy – And no, that’s not the same as security: Even if you can somehow secure that baby monitor from spying on your little bubby boo, there’s still the problem that a lot of these IoT devices are supposed to spy on you, says Bloomberg. “Why do you think there are so many buckets of cash pouring into the IoT hope-to-be-a-market? The Big Corporations don’t expect to make a big profit on the devices themselves, as the Big Money in IoT is in Big Data,” he says, noting that Big Data is about everything those sensors are learning about you and your nasty habits that you hide from your neighbors, what shows you watch, what apps you use, which ads influence your buying behavior. The more IoT you have, the more Big Data they collect, and the more Big Data they collect, the more they know about how you behave. And once they know how you behave, they know how to control how you behave - thereby jeopardizing your privacy.
Digital Fatigue: Bloomberg believes after some time, this whole thing about too much social media, too many smartphones, too many YouTube videos to watch, too many apps to download, too much of everything digital and wired and online can really get boring. IoT on top of it connecting the eyeglasses and wristwatches and our thermostats and our appliances too can just become mundane in the entire technology ecosystems. Moreover the vendors such as Apple and Google etc can also get a bit mind-numbing after a while.
No Killer App: Referring to how iPad became an overnight success phenomenon, and how consumers swear by a Killer App: something everybody wants the moment they hear about it, Bloomberg believes so far, the IoT has no Killer App. Are you lining up for Google Glass? What about a refrigerator that orders milk, or a car that turns on your hot tub? No? Didn’t think so.
Of course, the Killer App could be just around the corner. They have a nasty habit of appearing on the market suddenly with no warning, after all. But so far, there is nothing remarkable, he says.
Despite being an optimist, especially when it comes to technological progress, Bloomberg predicts that the IoT will struggle to find its way. “It will eventually arrive, but not in the forms that people envision today. The battle for who will control the IoT, the vendors or the customers, will bring to a head many of the concerns people have over the influence technology already has in our lives,” he says.
“Peel away all the buzzwords and hype, and you’ll find that the Internet of Things is the Internet of People – an extraordinarily powerful communication and commerce tool, but a tool in human hands nevertheless. Be careful with that thing or you’ll put someone’s eye out,” sums up Bloomsberg.
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