What Really Is “The Internet of Things”? And is it a good thing?

Recently I was introduced to the term “The Internet of Things”, which seems like a fancy way of saying technology is getting smarter than we think.

It is the idea of more things in the house connected to the the internet, like a heating system that detects your phone is within a certain radius and turns on for you so your house is already warm when you get in, that sounds incredibly clever. That is just one of thousands of uses and the number of technology devices that are designed for this kind convenience is heavily growing, sounds cool right?

It does to some extent, the lazy person in me likes the idea of my house doing something for me so I don’t have to, or at least don’t have to wait for something, I like that kind of convenience. There are ideas of watches that can detect health issues in you so they can book doctors appointments for you, fridges that detect when it is getting less full and orders new food to be delivered to restock. Little lifestyle changes like that would make life so much easier for a lot of people. It almost sounds a little too good to be true.

Being a sci-fi fan, this makes me both excited and sceptical at the same time, it is great that the human race has become technologically advanced enough to be able to do such things, but should we? All of these things point to one day that the majority of society will have smart homes full of these devices. Though will we become too reliant on these devices? Should we take fictional stories like Wall-E as a warning that these devices will just make us an even lazier society? and a smart home just makes me think of HAL 9000 or Skynet, I personally fear the day that technology becomes self aware.

Back to more sensible thoughts, all of this seems possible because of the term If This Then That, IFTTT for short. Basically a way of saying if this happens then that will happen, and building that into technology. Like the way I described the heater system, if the phone comes within a certain radius then the heater system will turn on. Building technology around this philosophy does seem like a fantastic way to help technology evolve

I’m intrigued about how the music industry will fit in with this, in the future will iTunes or Spotify be built into the house and come on automatically as it detects you entering the house? Will they be able to know what you have been listening to before you entered the house and continue playing it over the speakers within the house? will your use of Spotify be a way of helping you be alerted when you favourite artists come fairly local to you?

The possibilities do seem to go on and thing for people to keep an eye on

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Is The Social Media Phase Ending? Or Are People Jumping To Conclusions

After reading what Fred Wilson had to say about what has happened to in 2014 in the social media and technology world, I can’t help thinking he is wrong in some aspects, or he has some wishful thinking, I will show you some of what he has to say, along with my response on it.

1/ the social media phase of the Internet ended. this may have happened a few years ago actually but i felt it strongly this year. entrepreneurs and developers still build social applications. we still use them. but there isn’t much innovation here anymore. the big platforms are mature. their place is secure.

Now this I strongly disagree, even though people come and go from it and slate certain aspects of social media, it is still going very strong, and still one of the most convenient ways to keep in touch with people and certain information.

2/ messaging is the new social media. this may be part of what is going on in 1/. families use whatsapp groups instead of facebook. kids use snapchat instead of instagram. facebook’s acquisition of whatsapp in february of this year was the transaction that defined this trend.

Again I disagree, most of this is not “instead of”, it is “as well as”. Most of the same people who use one, use all the others too, they are all just more options

8/ we finally got rid of files. dropbox, google drive, soundcloud, spotify, netflix, hbogo, youtube, wattpad, kindle, and a host of other cloud based services finally killed off three letter filenames like mp3, mov, doc and xls. spending a week in the caribbean with young adults and bad internet was the tell on this one for me. they don’t even have mp3s on their iphones anymore!

Surely this is based on personal preference, some people find may find it more convenient streaming or storing things on the internet, but no, the file is not dead as long as the file still has use. People still have vast music collections over the years that they have stored on computers and backed up on hard drives, that will not stop and it will continue to grow. Students will back up their work, again storing it on computers, multiple hard drives and possibly the cloud out of paranoia of losing their work. For now these are all still just options, not a definite way of doing things.

I can’t help thinking that what Wilson has said is more of a wishful future prediction than what is happening, I can’t see social media ever dying out, not completely, it will just adapt to society. It has become too big for it to now just go. Platforms will go, something else will just replace it, Myspace was so 10 years ago, Bebo came along for a short while, Facebook has being going fairly strong for years, same with Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr are kind of outsiders, but they all link in with each other in some format, you take a picture on Instagram and share it to the world of Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. All of them have millions of users every day, does that seem like the end of social media to you?

The “in” way people will contact each other will continue to change like it always has. Phoning, to texting, to instant messengers and Skyping, to snapping. Note that these are still options, it’s just that snapping seems to have been the big phase over the last couple of years. People have already gotten bored with that while others still love it, just like most forms of social media, something else will come along at some point for people to fuss over. though the other options will stick around.

File owning won’t die yet either, this current generation still strongly uses them. For example I use Spotify but I will always prefer to have a copy of music to stick on to a portable MP3 player. Until there is a more practical way for me to stream on the go, I will continue to use an MP3 player. And I’m sure other people are the same with their iPods and MP3 players. It won’t be too long though before there are better options to streaming on the go and at home, and more benefits to cloud based websites, the next generation is more likely to be the ones that don’t use files, because they never will do.

Here is the rest of what Fred Wilson had to say