The "Internet-of-Things," is suppose to improve communication, automation, and business optimization. For those who haven't yet heard the buzzword, it refers to increase in objects connected to the internet (household appliances, power monitors, roadways, etc)
Do you guys think this will improve the quality of life by automating certain aspects of our life and/or giving us more direct control?
- example: Being able to monitor power usage in real-time to make smarter decisions.
-example 2: Automatically activating the coffee maker once the alarm clock is shut off.
or are we becoming too reliant on technology to the point of being enslaved by it?
-example: No longer being able to do these tasks independently
-example 2: Making our lives much more vulnerable since almost everything may potentially be hacked?
or worse, are we sacrificing our privacy to "big brother?" on account of all the personal information we'll be generating
-example: Auto insurance policy rates will be based on how the car is driven; anyone who drives over the speed limit will be penalized.
I look forward to fine-tuning my power usage, work commute, etc; however, I'd have to really read between the lines to make sure what I'd be sacrificing.
It's all a question of who is going to be in control of it. If it is open-source, then the users will be in control. If it is all proprietary the way Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. would like it to stay, then it's the techno-plutocrats who will be in control. And that is the cyber-punk dystopia that science fiction has been warning us about for decades.
Let's hope Philip K. Dick wasn't right about this too.
Even if data is open-source, large companies with nearly unlimited resources will data-mine them to exhaustion.The vast ammounts of immediate stastics available may spur helpful public policy on one hand, but will also influence a new form of breed of manipulative marketing. At least we'll be able remotely brew coffee.
It is a disaster from a macroeconomic point of view. You have to consider the few benefits against the hidden costs like spams, scams, trojans, ID thefts, time spent on daily updates, trillions of dollars of communication hardware (fiber optics, satellites, server farms) tied up in useless activities of updates. You have to think of all the manpower wasted by people and thousands of IT guys trying to maintain security against never ending attacks. Think of all the guys employed in creating antivirus databases. The amount of money an average person pays fo all these frills per year can sustain three or for workers for a whole year in countries like China and third world countries. Some of the costs are hidden due to ads which are ultimately paid by purchase goods. Yes, a few people benefit but most do not. Much of the information on the net is dubious and cannot usually tell good from bad.
I don't think the techno-plutocrats will be in control. There always seem to be plenty of politicians and government officials to compete withthem. George Soros is hardly a technocrat, for example.
Politicians don't compete with the executives who fund their campaigns. They are all in it together. Red, blue, or what have you.