IoT: Our life in public?

by Kelvin
IoT: Our life in public? 1

IoT: Our life in public? 2
With the gradual advances that occur daily in the technological field, the life of the average citizen, is changing at a speed that we could never have imagined. The exponential growth in technology development has made our lives SMART in every aspect. What we usually saw in the most spectacular films of American cinema, is slowly reaching our homes. The "Smart Life" or better "Internet Life", is bringing and has brought massive changes in our existence. Internet, needless to deny it, has introduced a new standard of life to which people they are adapting day after day.

Last week I brought you the thoughts of Steve Wozniak about the Internet of Things, and its bubble phase. If you remember well I said that, at least for the moment, I would leave out the ethical implications. Well the time has come to pull them out and discuss them together face to face like a real community. But let's start by degrees:

that mysterious thing called "iot" internet of things

The Internet of Things is nothing but one large-scale connection between millions of devices that can communicate with each other and steal useful information from the network. It is a simple concept, which sees the objects of our daily life, connected to each other via the Internet.

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The scope is not restricted to PCs only, but apply it to everything that can have an advantage in having such great connectivity. Think of objects such as light bulbs, fridges, televisions … You can communicate with every object, whether you're in your home, or acting remotely. Think of a bridge that can communicate when its structure begins to feel the weight of years, or to a machine that can determine the position of each vehicle in circulation and predict areas of heavy traffic or accidents. Anything will be remotely controlled through the power of the "Internet of Things".

what you need to know about the iot

The IoT is not hacking proof. The internet of devices is not secure at all. Surely it will be a problem if some attacker manages to access your network of devices e "Play" with your things. Think, for example, if he could control the temperature in your home and set the values ​​at will, or if he could control your car and divert it. What now seems possible only in a science fiction film could, sooner or later, become reality. The "Orwellians" try to force their hand on this aspect: Yes, you have to be scared, once you embrace the IoT your life will be monitored and every activity will be recorded.


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Devices that use connectivity should adopt open standards. Are approximately 25-30 years that we talk about these standards, but where did we get to? Although I am a big fan of open source and open standards, if I wanted to look at the field from an objective point of view, I should note that there are two or three companies that drag the market (Google, Apple, IBM, Intel …) and a herd of consumers who are forced to choose a deployment and develop for one Big or the other. We are, unfortunately, in front of a Babel of digital languages, which force us into strong boundaries.

finally, the most defeatists they note that, since the real money does not derive from the devices themselves, but fromthe big data, if producers gave consumers the opportunity to "choose", they could not control their behavior and, consequently, get profits.

the pros

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After this mountain of pessimism it is necessary to list also those that are the pros of this type of device. Let's start with the "office" activities. Take for example CISCO, which controls more than 300 palaces scattered around the world, alone four locations, including electricity, environment and security management. The company plans to arrive at defining such an efficient system from acknowledge the entry into the company of a manager and make sure that the lights in your office turn on automatically and that an elevator picks it up.

More than half of the world's population now lives in urban centers, and nearly two-thirds of the rest they will do it by 2050, which means 2.5 billion more inhabitants in the metropolis. This is a nightmare scenario for today's plagued cities, traffic, smog, crime, overflowing garbage cans and inefficient lighting that eats between a quarter to half of energy budgets. But the technologies being tested at this time will help the cities of the future to cope with the looming migration.

The traffic lightsin fact, they will be able to monitor traffic and determine the length of stops, based on time, machine presence, and general mobility. This will reduce traffic and smog, since the 17% of the fuel that consumed in urban areas, is wasted before a red.

TO Barcelona, sensors inserted in the car parks, offer information in real time on places available or about to get rid of drivers who, thanks to an application, can be guided to the correct position. If it seems insignificant to you, know that the 30% of traffic is generated due to drivers looking for a parking space.

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A search for Gartner estimated that by 2020, there will be around 250 million internet-connected machines in the streets of the world, most of which will be able to fly on their own (in this regard I invite you to take a tour on the site of the Vislab of Parma, which has long been working on self-driving car prototypes, with excellent results. A bit of propaganda patriotic is public!). Furthermore, the fact of being autonomous and not dependent on humans will reduce accidents dramatically. Not only that, each machine will know the position of nearby cars and it will be possible to maintain narrower distances than current standards. Traffic experts call this maneuver "platooning", And according to estimates, you could save some of those hours (around 90 billion total hours) that you spend nailed in traffic.

The following are not to be excluded medical implications that these technologies could have. For example, think of a system that can monitor newborns and determine temperature, skin color and breath, and in the event of changes, the system can alert nurses. Philips, known for its smart lamps, has created a system that can manage the medicines of an elderly patient, reminding them that they must take a specific pill and warning the nurse, or a family member, that the tablet has been taken correctly.

Finally with regards to the domain of home automation, it is almost necessary to talk about Google is Nest, which as has my colleague Antonio reiterated, over the past few hours, has presented Protect, a new device that hides a wide range of small sensors that will allow it to easily analyze the air parameters in our home. Together with Nest, it is one of the first smart devices entirely dedicated to the home environment.

Said this, there are many questions that remain open and, at least for now, they have this system discussed. Who has the right to access my data? What about? Who are the data that the devices collect, owned by me or the company that designed them? Is it right that my ISP scans my emails to understand what my interests are? Can my government enter and monitor every single moment of my life to get information and see if I am a potential terrorist?

Maybe someday, we will come to determine a system capable of accurately measuring and monitoring the mental state, personality and dispositions of people. Which one will beFinally, the limit that will separate us from falling into a dystopian future such as the one described by the famous Psycho-Pass?

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