When I first saw a promotion from the consulting firm Accenture (the remaining wing of discredited the Arthur Andersen CPA firm) regarding the "Internet of Things," I was skeptical. Was this another bit of marketing jargon? Upon further investigation, I found that the Internet of Things had a long history...as well as a future that seems to only be limited by imagination and invention.
Connectivity can lead to convenience, and convenience can be monetized into additional revenue streams. Service contracts rather than outright purchases are proliferating, and create on-going sources of revenue for companies that offer a quality product. The interactivity of hub devices such as Alexa can appeal to human users of all ages.
The elephant in the room, however, is security and its sister, privacy. Data collection is a driver of revenue, so the erosion of privacy is inevitable. Also, the location and vulnerability of data storage is also an issue.
A humorous but alarming illustration of the unforeseen consequences of smart machines was a key plot point in a Silicon Valley episode from last season. (Begin at 35 seconds into the clip. The usual warnings regarding language and crudeness in an HBO show apply.)
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