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IoT Household Wares: Who’s Talking to Whom?

MADISON, Wis. — At the risk of sounding a bit curmudgeonly, I have to confess one thing. While there’s certainly something positive to be said about the Internet of Things (IoT), I can’t help feeling suspicious, weary, and a bit turned off by the whole idea.

Aside from big-number projections (e.g., Cisco predicts 50 billion IoT devices by 2020), which would tempt anyone into becoming an IoT cheerleader, I haven’t seen a single credible-use scenario that might lure the average consumer onto the IoT bandwagon.

Honestly, it creeps me out to think about my devices at home talking to one another, doing stuff without my involvement, and talking about my habits — good and bad — to total strangers (advertisers, service providers, or just more machines), behind my back. There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about this. At all.

Why can't you guys get along?

Why can't you guys get along?

For the full story, see EBN's sister site, EE Times.

— Junko Yoshida is the Chief International Correspondent for EE Times.

12 comments on “IoT Household Wares: Who’s Talking to Whom?

  1. Ariella
    July 15, 2014

    In truth, I don't need my appliances to talk to each other — only to get things done. What would be really smart, in my view, is not just a fridge that tweets but a laundry system that fetches the dirty clothes, washes, dries, and irons them, and then folds them and puts them away.

  2. Daniel
    July 16, 2014

    “I don't need my appliances to talk to each other — only to get things done. What would be really smart, in my view, is not just a fridge that tweets but a laundry system that fetches the dirty clothes, washes, dries, and irons them, and then folds them and puts them away.”

    Ariella, if its working like a standalone device, then there won't be any requirement of IoT, but human intervention will be required.

  3. Ariella
    July 16, 2014

    @Jacob For my ideal to move from fantasy to reality would probably require at least one machine and a robot. You could in theory connect the washing and drying functions into a single unit that could possibly pass the laundry from one side to the other. But you would still need something with the mobility of a robot to fold the clothes and put them away in various different closets and dressers. 

  4. Daniel
    July 17, 2014

    “For my ideal to move from fantasy to reality would probably require at least one machine and a robot. You could in theory connect the washing and drying functions into a single unit that could possibly pass the laundry from one side to the other. But you would still need something with the mobility of a robot to fold the clothes and put them away in various different closets and dressers. “

    Ariella, that's a fantasy.

  5. prabhakar_deosthali
    July 17, 2014

    In my opinion for all the house hold work alonwith the modern day machines , what you need is a robot that will carry out all the tasks generally handled manually by us. Like outting dirty laundry in the machine, taking out the washed and dried clothes out from the machine and fold them and all such manual tasks.

    There is no place for IoT in the home automation I suppose.

  6. Ariella
    July 17, 2014

     

    @prabhakar_deosthali Exactly! Forget the internet connections, we want Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons! She even prepared cakes for the family! 

  7. Wale Bakare
    July 20, 2014

    >>In truth, I don't need my appliances to talk to each other — only to get things done. What would be really smart<<

    The caveat is this – many householders like you would probably not like it but, the main problem is OEMs and perhaps, competition. Fighting for markets dominance as well getting their products to outperform rivals' might force consumers not to have any choice, but to compel them having their home applicances connected to the internet.

    Take a scenario, a householder might want to use a washing machine, a key is pressed and afterwards, the unit returned with a message “get an app downloaded in other to make use of the feature”, otherwise nothing happens. 

     

  8. Ariella
    July 20, 2014

    @Wale I get just that kind of repsonse when I try to print out coupons sometimes. 

  9. Wale Bakare
    July 20, 2014

    Unfortunately, that type of strategy would force many to get their appliances together and may be sharing of resources within the inter-connected systems, i think.

    One thing, i foresee more opportunities IOT would create for OEMs as well ISVs. In addition, supply chain sector would not be left of out as a beneficiary in the space.

  10. Anand
    July 30, 2014

    IOT actually can connect everything and every sector and become one of the most discussed markets in the world. If we?re thinking about 50 billion connected things by 2025 then we better get busy putting companies together, and for this many kinds of arrays of teams consisting of the powerful companies heading the IOT force, are coming together. They?re putting plans, are documenting everything, and are creating crisis dodging measures and what not.

  11. Anand
    July 30, 2014

    @Wale: Probably the most frightening thing about this feature is the data costs. Nowadays most mobile games are ?Free to Download? but are not ?Free to play? most levels. In the same way we can download apps for a washing machine but we may not be allowed to operate it unless we buy some features of the apps that allows the washing machine to communicate with other home appliances.

  12. ahdand
    July 31, 2014

    @anandy: Well data does carry a lot of value. I think you cannot measure the cost with data. 

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