The ‘Internet of Things’ innovation was born out of making our lives easier through adding technology to material things; by connecting everything and anything to the internet and extending its purpose. When an object, whether it’s a mirror, your shower, vacuum cleaner or toothbrush, acquires a network connection, it’s traditional definition and use extends its borders of capability exponentially.
What happens when we have incorporated these iot’s into our lives to the point of irreversible dependency? What does it mean when we cannot access our appliances, change the thermostat or use a mirror normally without its additional connectivity, or forget that talking to our microwave doesn’t actually count as a real social interaction. Internet of Things relies solely on an internet connection, so what happens when the WiFi is down, and your alarm won’t go off, and your alarm won’t start off the coffee machine, and so on and so on.
By adding sentient interfaces to these objects, to allow them to interact with us and each other, it reaches the point where objects have the ability to take over (not in a post-apocalyptic cyber-genre way) and start to produce and share information more than humans could ever be possible. Sure, it will make our lives easier, to the point where we won’t even have to use our brains, and the machine/objects will just do it for us. Our perception of sharing emotional reactions to these interfaces will cloud our perception of human interpretations of these objects and their roles (Mitew 2014).
Innovation, inventing and creating the revolution of iot’s can only go so far until we do reach the post-apocalyptic cyber-genre level of crazy. By giving objects the capability to aggregate information, to store it and use it. Just see how that turned out for Tony Stark.
Smart technologies are interconnecting every aspects of our lives through these objects, to the point that it seems ridiculously unnecessary for our shirt to send a message to our washing machine it’s been worn 3 times and needs to be washed. We are equally fascinated and terrified of it, but are forgetting we can simply put our dirty shirt in the hamper ourselves, or that technology won’t remind us or guide us through every single moment of our lives with ease. Until we get a smart computer micro chip into our brains that will tell us how to think as well (bit over the top of, yes. But really when will it ever stop? Humans are lazy by default and curious the second, what won’t we invent to make our lives easier?).
Mitew, T, 2014. Do Objects Dream of an Internet of Things, The Fibreculture Journal, issn 1449-1443. https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/460481/mod_resource/content/0/Do%20Objects%20Dream%20of%20an%20Internet%20of%20Things.pdf
(J.A.R.V.I.S., Ultron and Tony Stark’s Hubris are all properties of Marvel)