In the recent years, more technology buzzwords are sprouting up everywhere: gamification, big data, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT). The latter one is where I would like to focus on.
This post originally appeared in [gamification] on Nov 11, 2016.
Imagine yourself entering your own home. However, the front door can only be opened with your smartphone. Just use your fingerprint code in an app and the lock is conveniently disabled. You carry your well-filled groceries bags with daily food necessities recommended by your dearly cooking mates: mister Fridge and miss Kitchen. Both are programmed to make your struggle with your newest low carb diet easier to bear. You follow your steps to enter the hallway. Suddenly, your smartwatch congratulates you for completing your daily target of 2000 steps. With a big smile, you turn on the lights and tune in homecoming music with a snap of your fingers.
Sounds like a dream, isn’t it? Believe or not, it’s actually not far from the reality. More parts of our daily life are connecting with the internet to create more ease and convenience. Internet can be found in our furniture, electronic appliances, entertainment systems etc.
This is pretty much the gist of Internet of Things. If you then adds a gaming feature or play factor in these IoT, you have gamification. Making your life just little bit more playful. The possibilities are endless, such as rewarding shoppers for solving an online puzzle or playing “cat and mouse” game to get your food from a vending machine.
Now, the issue here is not glorifying these new technologies. We must try to look further what lies behind IoT. What are the consequences of implementing internet in our day by day activities? Should we be aware of the underlying dangers of this digital exposure?
Privacy is one of the concerns. Your personal preferences and needs are recorded and stored in the database. The amount of information is enormous and can be used for – in better case – improving or developing the betterment of internet in things we use. Though, the opposite might be true. Stored data or big data could be sold to other developers of even marketeers, which could turn into digital parasites surrounding your life. The worst case scenario for developers is the danger of hacking activities. Information leaked or users being blackmailed are merely scratches of the surface.
Where do we draw the fine line between internet development and basic human rights? Where can technology go without worrying the users? Do you promote IoT or would you rather keep them at bay? Share your thoughts and let me know.