What is the Internet of Things and How Is It Changing the Modern Home?
You have probably already heard the phrase the “Internet of Things,” or “IoT” for short, and may be wondering what it is and what it means for you as a homeowner. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that several devices in your home already qualify as IoT devices, and you can expect many more to hit the market soon. The convenience of these modern innovations has been praised, but they have also been upheld as an example of privacy concerns and possibly even compromised home security. Read on to learn more about the Internet of Things and how it can affect you and your home.
What Is The Internet of Things?
Broadly speaking, the Internet of Things is connecting everyday objects to the internet. Many homeowners have stereos that react to voice commands and can play them their favourite Spotify playlist on demand. Others have garage doors they can control remotely from an app on their phone. Both of these are examples of IoT. By 2020, there will be an estimated 21 billion devices connected to the internet. This technology will drive incredible innovations including driverless cars and smart assistants that can make you coffee and order your groceries at the drop of a hat. The future of The Internet of Things will also mean significant changes for you as a homeowner. While you can look forward to energy saving and increased comfort through integrated devices that understand your habits, a potential concern in the smart home is increases in cyber attacks and breaches of privacy.
Let’s start by looking at the simplest ways IoT could already be making your home more sustainable. These include shutting off lights when you exit a room and smart thermostats that can predict the weather and react accordingly. Beyond this, you might soon see a truly smart home that understands the bigger picture of energy saving and makes fine-tuned adjustments to conserve as much as possible. Your home wouldn’t simply turn off the air conditioner, but would also open or shut drapes or windows to offset the weather. Smart homes will also soon be able to give you a complete and detailed list of energy consumption across all your devices, and could best advise you on how and when to use them to save the most power. In short, your Internet of Things connected home could soon capture a complete picture of your family’s energy use and will offset consumption with adjustments without you even being aware.
Further Integration of Devices in Your Home
You may already be using a smart speaker, the most recent wave of IoT innovations which are changing homes before our eyes. Voice-recognition software allows speakers like Alexa and Google Home to react to your vocal commands to not only play songs or other audio, but control lighting, temperature, and other switches in your home by storing cloud-based data. You can expect these so-called smart devices to only get smarter, as they will gain the ability to integrate with more appliances like your fridge and even dishes. It may not seem too outlandish that your fridge could warn you when your milk gets low, but a more surprising innovation is a glass that reminds you to drink more water. Don’t worry, tech giants haven’t forgotten about your pets! Reports have surfaced of devices that monitor your pets’ health and location, keeping them safe and vet costs low. All of these innovations in your home will be possible through increased connectivity and devices gathering and storing data about your daily habits.
Privacy and Security Breaches
These days data and privacy breaches are a controversial topic, and the Internet of Things stands at the forefront of this debate. This is because IoT relies on collecting scores of data from you such as shopping habits, television viewing, and even what times you like to eat breakfast or shower. This is extremely valuable data which many companies would pay huge sums to obtain, and regulation around selling it is being outpaced by how fast technology is evolving. Another concern is the increased potential for hacking. With more integration comes more opportunity for hackers, who could not only compromise your phone but all the devices it’s connected to, such as your laptop, car, and even your home itself. Companies will need to be responsible for putting out more frequent updates to combat hackers and meet the demands of homeowners who want to keep their homes secure. Although you may soon be enjoying a fully integrated home that responds seamlessly to your needs, the consequence may be a rise in your stress levels over keeping your home secure due to the Internet of Things.
IoT brings with it promises of a bright future for you as a homeowner, with a smart house that understands you and lets you and your family live as comfortably as possible. However, privacy and hacking concerns may increase along with it. It’s important to keep companies accountable to create stronger security systems as the Internet of Things evolves and spreads around the globe. Make sure to follow along on the blog to keep updated on all things Caliber Homes!