In 1990, a man named John Romkey and his friend, Simon Hackett modified a toaster that can be controlled over the internet to win a bet. This is what many believe was the very first ‘Internet of Things’ device.
Fast forward to 2018, we now have 23 billion devices connected to the internet. Ericsson forecasts 30 billion connected things. This is just the early, land-rush phase of the Internet of Things and eventually leading to the Internet of Everything.
It is trivially easy to miss the magnitude of the chain reaction a smart refrigerator sets off every day and its impact on the human lifespan. After all, we are what we eat. So, a computer with access to the world’s combined wisdom of human well-being and the metadata of strangers with the same body chemistry and food preferences as I, can suggest what I should eat for dinner is an idea that is not hard to digest anymore.
It is a promise of a better world where technology is “indistinguishable from magic” and life’s mundane routines has switched to poetry from prose.
Standalone appliances used to be a once in a decade purchase and the association with the brand ends when you step outside the door. But smart appliances keep the relationship alive by sending a constant stream of our data to be processed by their maker’s benevolent algorithms opening a new monetization channel.
It could pay for itself by subsidizing the groceries we need if a retailer partners up with the maker or surprise us with free food on our birthdays from a local restaurant who struck a PR deal with the appliance brand.
Spinning the roulette of Technology
Between the 1st and 8th century, Northern Peru was home to the Mohican civilization whose religion had an all too modern judgement day myth. According to their legend, man-made objects like weapons, pots, and earthenware would grow hands and legs and come to life to destroy their civilization. This is the earliest recorded version of what could be called an AI doomsday scenario.
We now live in a world where objects once again have “life” and many intelligent people have come out against arming machines with data in fear they could rise up against us. The connected technologies could become bootloaders to an Artificial Super Intelligence that could see no use for the human race to exist.
Do you think you have an idea for an IoT product that can stop the robot overloads from taking over the world? We are willing to overlook Roko’s basilisk prediction and build it for you.