Let’s Talk IoT
Let’s start this chat off by initially stating how the IoT is amazing & it has the potential to improve our lives, from making tedious tasks more simplistic, potentially totally automated, through to allowing us to use a web browser via something such as a contact lense. This may sound like something from Black Mirror, i.e. the episode titled “The Entire History of You“, but the insane thing is that we’re not exactly all that far away from having some form of technology like that which appears in the episode. Of course, Black Mirror is known for showing the darker side of what occurs with such technological enhancements, however, I’m going to try and look on the lighter side of what these technologies can do for us.
Health & cosmetics, it’s a very large sector, whether it’s ranging from sporting equipment, through to “detoxifying” supplements, a lot of people try their best to take care of themselves. Even in a lot of companies, they’re promoting a sense of well being & good health, including Admiral, this even expands beyond just the physical side of one’s well being, such companies promote taking care of one’s mental health too.
So, IoT technology, could in theory help improve our health, an example being how we could have smart toilets, but when I say smart toilets, I don’t mean a toilet with an iPad built into it, or the ability to use Facebook. I mean having some form of toilet where it’s able to analyse samples from our waste & analyse such samples for all forms of illnesses, from a simple UTI infection through to early stages of bowel cancer. Of course such an example, I’d imagine it wouldn’t exactly be the cheapest piece of technology to engineer. Furthermore, being someone who doesn’t know all of the cost & complexities involved with being able to produce such technology, as an example, I’m not in anyway a medical professional, so I wouldn’t know what to look for to start with, let alone knowing how much it costs to run such tests. But, this is an example of a technology that could revolutionise our lives for the better. I know that such technology is in the process of being developed, but it’s reasonable to say that it’s hardly widely available at this moment in time.
Taking this a step closer to what we currently have on the market, widely available to use, we have smart fridges, although, I think that these devices should have some form of application that allows us to analyse our eating habits. Of course it wouldn’t be quite as simple as that as you could easily go to Greggs or McDonald’s and your smart fridge without you recording this food consumption in one way or another, i.e. manual input or some wearable device. But it could scan products within the fridge itself, possibly by barcode(s) & build an analytical document stating your average nutritional intake, possibly suggesting improvements.
Going a bit further beyond just the narrow minded view of allowing people to take better care of themselves, such technology would make the lives of healthcare professionals much easier. This could potentially save huge amounts of time, meaning how it could drastically reduce fatality rates when trying to discover what is wrong with someone. Doctors, nurses & whomever else that’s qualified is now able to analyse vast amounts of data with the push of a button, beyond saving time, this could also save vasts amount of money too, as doctors wouldn’t need to conduct a range of tests or experiments on individuals which otherwise they may have to, which I do know that some experiments that may seem relatively simple actually cost an insane amount of money.
Another sector that could potentially explode with IoT evolving is the media sector, including movies, games, etc. Going back to the comment I made in the section above about Black Mirror, with such technology, it could make it possible to play games with friends with some form of augmented reality. Imagine playing something along the lines of Pokémon Go wearing contact lenses or glasses, if I was 8 years old again & such technology was on the market, I know what I’d be asking Santa for Christmas.
Furthermore, talking about the ability to use augmented reality with some form of IoT devices, this could improve our ability to communicate, I’m pretty sure that yes, while technologies such as Facebook, it does allow us to communicate, however, you don’t get the near-full experience of having someone in your presence.
I know, having worked in a multi channel eCommerce company has shown me just how big this sector is & to be transparent, prior to, I wouldn’t have guessed this to be such a thriving sector. But with the use of IoT devices, we could have technology analyse & maintain the health & wellbeing of our green friends. This could of course be used on a much larger scale than just seeing whether or not your tomatoes are growing nicely, but such technology could be used within forests, to analyse the ecosystem, ensure that nothing is being disturbed. In such an application, this technology could be used to preserve forestry, an example being detecting which trees for infections, such an application would be primarily appealing to organisations that spend some, or possibly all of their time preserving forestry.
With the development & rise of IoT devices & applications, we could use such technology for many things, more than what a single individual such as myself can think of, but overall, I do believe that I’ve covered how such technology could be used to make our lives better. That was my primary aim of this article, but of course, like any form of technological advancements, they can always be manipulated in such a way where some bad guys will use them to essentially do some bad. This brings me on to a very interesting topic which I’ll cover at a later date & that topic is the ethics revolving around the world of computation & automation. But this is something we have to think about when developing & deploying great technological advancements, a very quick example being with the rise of self driving cars, wouldn’t that essentially put all forms of delivery drivers out of business? To further expand on the topic of the ethical choices we must make, I do believe that Black Mirror does paint a very realistic picture of what could happen when using these great technologies.