Recent news of the FBI unlocking an iPhone without Apple’s interference reminds us once again how connected we are to devices managing our day-to-day lives. They’re home to the list of tasks we can’t forget to do over the weekend, the work emails that just can’t wait until we’re back at our computers and, if you’re anything like me, the photos documenting our lives for the past year.
This interconnected world isn’t going to get less complicated any time soon. The amount of technology that’s being created to connect to the Internet and generate data with the promise of making our lives easier is only getting more specialized. Your Fitbit uploads the record of your sleep cycle straight to your phone and alerts you if you’re behind on your step goals for the day. Your fridge can suggest recipes for tonight’s dinner based on what food is still fresh via its own app. Even your water bottle can remind you of your new year’s resolution to drink more water.
Intel projects there should be 200 billion items connected to the “Internet of Things” by 2020. Across sectors, this represents a staggering amount of data and knowledge that could be used to provide more personalized services, save consumers and producers time and money, and influence decisions for the future. On the flip side, it also represents a vast amount of data that could be vulnerable to abuse and interception. So at what point do we reach IoT overload? Is it excessive, as ReadWrite contributor Ryan Matthew Pierson points out, when "our refrigerator has a meaningful discussion with our toaster about how often the butter needs to be reordered?" Do we need to take stock of the amount of data we are creating about ourselves and storing in the cloud? And how can the communications and marketing world sift through these mass amounts of data to decipher opportunities?
That remains to be seen, but in the meantime I’m going to figure out how much storage I will have to clear off my iPhone in order to get updates about my dog’s moods.
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