IoT & the Future: Should Consumers Be Concerned?

IoT & the Future: Should Consumers Be Concerned?

By Shehwar Ali

Seventeen years ago, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) emerged. A concept that, at the end of day, is all about sorting and ultimately controlling data. With IoT, sensors, wireless chips, and internet connections all work together to automate tasks in various gadgets and possessions like cars, coffeemakers and phones.

While the auto generation of tasks seems futuristic, many companies have already adopted the foundation of the concept. Seventeen years of developing the IoT platform, a few prominent issues still exist.

What Concerns Do Consumers Have About IoT?

According to Digital Consumer Survey 2016 that surveyed internet users in Germany, 40% of the consumers whom participated in the survey said that they had concerns purchasing devices connected to IoT due to security reasons. Another 32% were concerned about data protection policies.

IoT is thought to be a complex system where individuals are supposed to be interacting with technological systems through complex processes which is based on smart objects. So, the interaction between these systems, processes and objects highlight certain issues related to IoT security.

So, in the future, if we are to achieve the autonomy of objects, security should be able to perceive threats and the architecture needs to be designed in a way that security attacks can be anticipated for preventive measures.

What Challenges Face IoT Today & Will Be Faced in the Future?

With security issue comes privacy and data transfer issues. With IoT, the bitter truth is privacy is never in the user’s hand. Since, a privacy threat is always present, data protection laws are needed to be reviewed for IoT platforms and products.

According to a recent survey conducted by FOW community, it is predicted that by 2020, 26-212 billion devices will be connected, which will surpass the human population by nearly a factor of 3! These numbers alone present a great deal of challenge.

Opening an app to preheat your oven, start your laundry cycle, check the shopping list your smart fridge has automatically generated, or keep an eye on your intelligent thermostat are just a few things IoT can offer. Obviously, we would want all these actions incorporated in a single platform, using one single app on your smartphone, but what good can it be to a customer if the same door he locked from a distance could be easily unlocked by a burglar. In short, no one wants hackers to crash their smart door, or webcams. Well, they have already broken into baby monitors so, imagine the level of damage and danger hackers pose amidst such IoT connectivity.

Even though a number of challenges exist, ranging from interoperability to price, security and privacy but still analysts are hopeful that in the near future, an IoT explosion in expected. But, can we predict the future of these products? Nowadays, IoT is about less automation and more personal augmentation and services. Though, liabilities existing in these IoT devices may seem harmless, they can lead to severe consequences that may not be easily corrected.

Internet of Things Event:

Interested in learning more about Internet of Things? PreScouter is hosting an IoT event with GE Healthcare on October 6, 2016 in Chicago, IL. Use code: PreScouterHelpsInnovate to register for free. 

Image courtesy of freerangestock.com

Learn more about PreScouter at www.prescouter.com.

More of Our Insights & Work