Pinpointing This Week: Disruption or Transformation?

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According to Intel, the number of connected devices is projected to soar to 50 billion in the next five years and could be worth a staggering $11.1 trillion by 2025. The problem is, as fast as we’re installing smart devices as part of our every day existence, we’re not taking sufficient measures to safeguard our security and privacy (a 2014 report by HP Security Research concluded that approximately 70% of our smart gadgets have serious security flaws).

This may not seem like an issue when you’re talking about someone hacking your toaster, but the implications become far more serious when it comes to major national security, transportation and health issues, to name a few. Then there’s all the data being gathered, transmitted and assimilated by third parties that we have no control over.

“Historically, our built world has been relatively inert. It’s like the TV in your living room — you watch it but it doesn’t watch you — that is all changing”, says Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

At the same time, we’re seeing the transformative power of smart devices that are enabling and empowering us with unprecedented access to information and the ability to perfectly calibrate our lives. As this excerpt from The Week describes… “A new device aimed at preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome provides parents with real-time information about their infant’s breathing, body position, and other data, alerting them via smartphone if something is wrong. Doctors can now monitor patients with Parkinson’s or cardiac arrhythmia via wearable sensors. A smart coffee pot can tell when you’ve slept badly, and make stronger coffee. Sensors embedded in roadways and bridges can warn a car’s GPS of traffic jams, so the driver can take another route.”

This week we’re taking a dive into the world of constant connectivity and the internet of everything; the positives, the negatives and why we should all care.

Image: Cisco

 

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