Considerations for an IoT Connected World

Lewis MacDonald
May 01, 2020

Computer Rock delivers solid results for the IoT connected world. The Internet of Things (IOT) has been a hot topic for years, with the global IOT market reaching $190 billion in 2018. By 2025, it is estimated that 152,200 IOT devices will be connected every minute. Clearly connected devices are becoming increasingly popular and commonplace, for us both home and away. 

However, 63% of consumers describe the way connected devices collect data as “creepy.” In fact, more than half of consumers surveyed by the Internet Society are distrustful of their connected devices when it comes to their privacy and private information. So, what does it look like when our daily habits and movements are collected by the devices we depend on? How will our daily life be impacted as we move to and from work and home?

Connected devices are everywhere, from your phone and tablet to your refrigerator and microwave. Smart appliances and smart home devices are growing in popularity as they make our lives seemingly easier. You can program your AC, oven, and lights with the press of a button or a simple voice command. Consumers who have opted in, either knowingly or unknowingly, are also sharing all of their actions, behaviors, commands, and requests with the makers and owners of these devices.

In many ways, IOT devices make our lives easier. Your thermostat can learn your temperature preferences and adjust the climate of your home accordingly. Your phone learns when you leave for work and can provide accurate traffic information without being asked. Also, your smart home device can keep up with your personal shopping list, making recommendations based on your preferences and past behaviors. 

For some, IOT devices can feel like living with a personal concierge. For others, there is a growing concern over privacy. Among risk professionals, 76% believe IOT devices make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Also, third-party IOT provider security is not required by 55% of companies. While there are certainly benefits of IOT devices when it comes to convenience and ease of living, there are very real concerns over privacy and safety. 

There is also another concern when it comes to the Internet of Things. With smart devices guiding our behaviors and brands paying incredible sums to suggest products or purchase data, do we run the risk of changing ourselves? Will society shift from individuals with independent personalities, thoughts, and behaviors to a homogenous mass, motivated by third parties? The real question is, do these devices help us be ourselves or do they make us all alike? 

A connected future is inevitable as technology evolves. The Internet of Things and smart devices have transitioned from new and novel to an expected way of living. At this point, few could imagine their lives without their smartphone, Amazon or Google home device, or their tablet. With smart cars, appliances, and other devices on the rise, it is unlikely we will ever turn back from the IOT. 

The future of IOT and smart devices brings predictive travelling and leisure activities, smoother ways of life, suggested purchases, and more. But, does this new future deliver an ease of living where we only have to plan for exceptional events? It is possible that we are moving towards a future where we all adjust to the external nudges, influences, and decisions made for us by our devices. We are then faced with the decision of how we will use the extra time afforded to us. Will we become mindless drones or choose to exercise our human freedoms of thought and expression? Will the IoT of things provide us with the connected platform to live longer, brighter and deeper lives or will be become dragged and nudged by those controlling the connected devices, this decision sits with all of us.

Lewis MacDonald

Managing Director, Manchester. Lewis is a senior digital executive with over 20 years of experience in building fast-growth companies in the digital space.