The Utter Disappointment that is The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things it seems is already upon us and no matter how hard I try and I can’t really get that excited by it beyond that it is likely not going to work out in the way any of the cool people want it to. Remember the Internet? The thing that was supposed to be this techno-libertarian utopia where borders are erased and everyone comes together in one hand holding Brian Eno soundtracked love fest? Remember that? Well we got Chat Roulette and Al Qaeda instead.
Most scenarios you read about are about the amazingly difficult and positively insurmountable human travails of “Forgot to close the garage door? The Internet of Things (acronym IoT) can sort you out!”
A lot of the obsession is about the IPv6 standard and the amount of addressable objects per square meter. You can now network all your cups and glasses in a reasonably affordable manner now. Wow.
I for one don’t need more tech in my house or in my life. I think we have too much. Do you really need one more thing to configure? Do you really need one more thing to not really work?
The thing is, is that this is not new stuff. It’s just that someone decided to give it a name – and an incredibly shit name at that. Things have long been able to tell us things and broadcast status. Loads of sensors tracking them are not new. The military and industry has been doing this for a long time. The only difference now is the banality of that thing. So it seems that if you get data from a network of sensors lets say in a ship or an oil rig, that somehow isn’t this new Internet of Things, but if you get data from a bunch of sensors in a house it is.
Your garage door sending you an email? Wow. Brilliant. This sort of thing used to be for checking if there was still a missile in the silo and now this is what we’ve reduced it to. A network of utterly suburban things for first world problems.