From your phone to your refrigerator, to even your washing machine, more and more items today are connected to the Internet. As the number of connected items grows, so does the dependency on technology.
It can be argued ad nauseam whether “the Internet of Things” would be a good thing or a bad thing – there’s certainly a strong case for both sides. However, as we see more and more products connected to the Internet, we can expect to see big changes to how we interact with these items daily.
We’re seeing glimpses of it now with apps that allow you to control the lights or locks in your house from your phone, but imagine being able to control everything in your house with your phone or tablet acting as a central hub – a Smart House, if you will. In essence, your phone or tablet will serve as a full-time digital assistant – think of it as a much more advanced Siri – who can prompt you with things before you even know you wanted them.
With your entire kitchen connected, you walk into a grocery store and your phone will automatically notify you what items your are running low on or will soon expire and maps out where in the store you can find them. You can even take a peek inside your refrigerator or pantry through built-in cameras. If you look up a recipe online, you can be automatically informed as to what ingredients you already have and what you would need. If you don’t want to buy anything, you can even be given options for recipes based on ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
This super assistant can especially come in handy in those forgetful moments we all have. Walking out of your house and you forget to turn off the light or stove, you’re immediately prompted with an option to shut everything off. Left your dog without food for a few hours? Fill the automatic feeder with a simple voice command. If the forecast calls for rain, your morning alarm can also encourage you to get an umbrella or a raincoat.
Having this level of connectivity can even help your family or social life. Have an anniversary coming up? Not only can you be reminded of it, you can be automatically prompted for dinner reservations and flower delivery as the date gets near. If your friend’s birthday is coming up, you can be prompted with a reminder and a few gift options based on their social media activity – a mix of posts they’ve made, things they’ve liked and links they’ve shared.
Having everything in your life connected can provide endless possibilities. Of course, the biggest concerns are security and dependency. Sure, you can have your phone only work when you are touching it, but with all your items connected online, it’s possible for someone to hack into your hub and take control of your appliances. Of course, by the time this all comes closer to fruition, we can expect the major security concerns to be handled.
As for dependency, you know that feeling you get when you’ve accidentally left your phone behind, even if it’s only another room? Imagine how much worse that feeling will be when you have practically every item in your life – from your car to your heat to your fridge – connected to it.