If you haven’t heard the term already, you won’t be able to avoid it soon: “The Internet of Things.” Tech companies are racing to attach small computers and sensors to everything in our lives — coffee cups, pens, toilet paper, cars — and then enabling them to talk to each other. This creates amazing possibilities. It also creates some frightening possibilities. As I wrote for NBC last week, it’s George Jetson vs. George Orwell. Perhaps our homes will automagically cater to our every need soon, and we’ll all feel like James Bond. Or perhaps we’ll realize that everything we do is being recorded and watched, and we’ll lose freedom at its core.
What will happen to all the data that is collected? That question has fresh important in the post-Snowden leak world of NSA surveillance. How will we get into our houses when the door locks are Internet-enabled, and the power goes out? I tried to answer some of these questions here.
Bruce Schneier gets much deeper into the insecurity of the Internet of Things on his blog.
Here’s an easy-to-read McKinsey report on the topic.
And here’s a great Wired story about a researcher aiming at a kinder, gentler “IoT” world.