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23 November 2016

COMMENT: The Internet of Things: What the future holds for our homes


The number of devices connected to the internet is set to explode in the coming years. If until recently the only devices with an active internet connection were computers, smartphones (which are, in fact, pocket-sized computers), security cameras, and some very specific devices (used mainly for production or surveillance), today we are on the verge of an explosion of devices that will be connected to a global network. It's not only the number of connected devices that is going to change in the near future, though: recent developments will change the way we interact with them, making them more personal, more interactive, and more seamlessly integrated with our everyday life.


But what does the internet of things have in store for us in the future? Let's take a look at what the future holds.

A different kind of interaction

The term digital has the Latin term digitus at its base, which refers to the use of fingers rather than the voice to interact with other people, through the use of a variety of devices. We truly live in a "digital" era, where people don't talk any more, but rather type - we chat, we text, we type status updates and use our fingers (rather than a lever) to spin the reels of a Royal Vegas slot machine.

In the times of the 'internet of things', we won't have the chance to interact with our smart devices - and other humans - using our fingers, as many of them will not have a keyboard. And, let's face it, typing on the side of a fridge is not what you imagine as the ideal way to send a message. Instead of using our hands, we will revert to a vocal time, when we will once again interact with our devices - and other humans - using our actual voices. It will be strange to tell your favourite Royal Vegas slot machine to spin the reels, rather than clicking a button, but we'll surely get used to it.




Security?

With more and more devices connected to the global network, it's a valid concern that we expose ourselves to a series of attacks; new ones, targeting not only our banking data and personal information, but information about our consumption habits (which makes targeting ads much easier), and possible invasions into our personal lives.

Perhaps IoT will have a thing or two to learn from online gambling operators in this area. Online casinos routinely handle the personal information and banking details of their players, and do so without any major incidents. Well, some of them. The Royal Vegas, for example, has a history of over one decade without any major security breaches, and will most likely go on with an impeccable record for further years. Casinos seem to know a thing or two about security - IoT developers could learn a thing or two about it from them.




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