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