What is the Internet of Things? And why should you care? | Benson Hougland

Benson Hougland has a passion for technology of all kinds that drives a deep desire to make his work and the world around him better. His interests include making wine, making music, and making memories with family and friends in activities like boating, camping, and traveling.

Technology has become more prevalent in our lives. Smart technology, such as smartphones, has made collating data easier than ever for marketing departments which utilize this information to create products and services that improve our quality of life.  Other benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the potential changes available within the workplace, for example, sensor-based technology can be used to analyze individual and group productivity. This information can be used by a manager as an indicator of performance. This will give strategic thinkers within the corporation valuable information that can improve existing practices within the organization.

Another benefit of the IoT is information extracted from smartwatches or fitness bands can personalize healthcare services and be an indicator of underlying illness, for example, a fitness band calculates the heartbeats per minute of someone doing physical activity. This could indicate the wearer of illnesses such as high blood pressure. The IoT will also influence homes with the future, for example, smart thermostats can give homeowners an indicator of their usage of heat, water, and electric which can ensure that they do not frivolously use expensive utilities. They can also use the set the thermostat to automatically turned should the temperature below a certain level. This will ensure the welfare of Homeowners.

However, there are potential disadvantages of the IoT. For example, older personnel within the workforce could require extensive training to understand the technology involved with the IoT. Also, the IoT within the workplace could result in redundancies since automated systems can do the job. A relevant example is within supermarket it is now common for automated tills to be used. This means that less personnel are required to operate a till.

Another problem associated with the IoT is related to data privacy. The IoT is dependent on people sharing collated information or data through devices so it essential that information is protected from cybercrime by companies to ensure that people have trust and confide information with other parties.

To surmise the IoT will revolutionize our lives however companies have a societal responsibility to ensure that information is protected from people who wish to misuse the data for criminal gain.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.