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Intelligent Objects. Homes smarter than us

We have perhaps referred it as “the future” for a long time now. But, the impending arrival of “the future” is here.  The tech industry describes it as the next big thing. The intelligence community regards it as God-sent.

It is called The internet of things (IoT).

We believe the year 2016 is the year when we see all these innovations become a reality. In 2015, we saw tremendous steps being made by Tech Companies to commercially produce civilian drones, driverless cars, phones faster than our computers, etc. We project that this year is when The internet of things will be felt by every one of us in how homes.

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Fancy your water bottle texting you reminding you to refill? Or maybe your TV reminding you to restock on the groceries?

Computers are getting smaller and cheaper. Wireless internet technology is ubiquitous than ever. It is soon going to be practical to have computer chips embedded in everything I our homes. They will sense the temperature changes and switch things on and off; they will decide whether to order pizza or milk. The scope is limitless.

Samsung has been setting the pace when it comes to making home appliances smart. Ever since they bought Smart Things, they have been flowing with futuristic ideas. A few years ago, ordering vegetables from your fridge door would have seemed unachievable; well, you will be surprised what more the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator can do.  

As larger tech behemoths like Nest, Google, Mattel, Amazon and Apple join Samsung in the struggle for your homes, it can only get better.

Whether you are having lunch in the dense forest of the Tsavo in Kenya, or visiting your neighbour Charlie in Hampshire, you can easily control SensorSphere, a robotic sphere with a high definition camera, round your home directly from your phone. SensorSphere is your house helper who will monitor and adjust the humidity, temperature and even the lighting in your house, regardless of the side of the world you are.

When homes get smarter than you are, they may do some things you wouldn’t want them to do.

According to the US director of intelligence, the internet of things present future intelligence services with a good opportunity to identify, survey, monitor, track, locate and target individuals for recruitment or get confidential login credentials.

Embedded in your household devices, we have a pearl trove to government agencies and hackers alike looking for unnoticeable means to listen in and watch their targets.

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In the near future, when you walk past your doorstep or the front lawn, your Moto Watch will authenticate your identity and open the door for you. It will then adjust your lighting, room temperature, and heat up the coffee according to your preference.  Outside, a hacker in a black “pest control van” will be hacking into your Wi-Fi and use your TV camera to monitor your movements. Are we ready for this? It’s inevitable. We don’t have to be ready.

As I ponder on the security risks my home poses to my privacy, I take a break to check my Nest camera through my phone to confirm my security lights were on. If the lights were off, Siri would have turned them on, given that they are connected to my iDevices smart plug that I keep synched with my Apple’s HomeKit system. I have no option, I will have to trust my systems and the guys producing them.

 

01 March 2016

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