Will vulnerabilities undermine its potential?
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is abundant, according to proponents: This growing array of internet-linked devices, ranging from baby monitors to thermostats to cars, will improve lives, increase productivity and create new business markets. Skeptics point to equally substantial downsides, including vulnerability to cyberattack and concerns about personal privacy. They also question whether consumers really want all these interconnected devices, or whether producers have gotten ahead of the market. Whatever the answer, the IoT is spreading; according to one estimate, more than 28 billion connected devices exist worldwide, and that will grow to 50 billion by the end of the decade.
Here are some key takeaways:
Cloud-based data storage is a central element of the IoT, and two corporate giants, Amazon and Microsoft, are vying for dominance in this field.
Another key battleground is self-driving vehicles, with early entrant Google facing competition from several corporate rivals.
Other areas of IoT application include home energy systems, wearable fitness monitors and robots for use in security, health care and retailing.
Resources for Further Study
Brynjolfsson, Eric, and Andrew McAfee, “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies,” W.W. Norton, 2014. Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists envision a future in which computers and technology play a larger role in society and the workplace.
Kellmereit, Daniel, and Daniel Obodovski, “The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things,” DnD Ventures, 2013. A former tech CEO (Kellmereit) and the founder of a consulting firm (Obodovski) chronicle the history, trends, technology ecosystem and future of the IoT.
Eunjung Cha, Ariana, “Watson’s Next Feat? Taking On Cancer,” The Washington Post, June 27, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Huff, Dana, and Martin, Chris, “Tesla Seals $2 Billion Solar City Deal,” Bloomberg, Nov. 18, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Kovach, Steve, “Wearables are Dead,” Business Insider, Dec. 11, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Morgan, Jacob, “A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet of Things,’” Forbes, May 13, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Peterson, Andrea, “‘Internet of Things’ compounded Friday’s hack of major websites,” The Washington Post, Oct. 21, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Press, Gil, “A Very Short History of the Internet of Things,” Forbes, June 18, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Reports and Studies
Bradley, Ryan, “Tesla Autopilot: The electric-vehicle maker sent its cars a software update that suddenly made autonomous driving a reality,” MIT Technology Review, http://tinyurl.com/
Leiner, Barry M., et al., “Brief History of the Internet,” Internet Society, http://tinyurl.com/
Simonite, Tom, “Moore’s Law is Dead. Now What?” MIT Technology Review, May 13, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
The Next Step
Aldred, Mark, “IoT in the banking industry: A logical evolution or a true revolution?” Tech City News, Feb. 15, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Bartz, Diane, and Jim Finkle, “U.S. sues D-Link, alleges lax security in routers, cameras,” Reuters, Jan. 6, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Ey, Taylor, “Staying Ahead of Privacy and Security Risks in Internet of Things,” The National Law Review, Jan. 25, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Armerding, Taylor, “Can the FTC save the IoT?” CSO, Feb. 9, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Wright, Rob, “Bruce Schneier: It’s time for internet-of-things regulation,” TechTarget, Feb. 15, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Yoshida, Junko, “EU Privacy Rules Can Cloud Your IoT Future,” EETimes, Feb. 23, 2017, http://tinyurl.com/
Center for Democracy & Technology
1401 K St., N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005
Non-profit organization working to preserve the user-controlled nature of the internet and champion freedom of expression.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
675 N. Randolph St., Arlington, VA 22203-2114
U.S. government agency dedicated to spurring technological advances.
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W., Washington, DC 20554
Federal agency that regulates interstate and international communications in the United States by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.
The Internet Engineering Task Force
5177 Brandin Court, Fremont, CA 94538
An open international community of network designers, operators, vendors and researchers concerned with the evolution of the internet’s architecture and its smooth operation.
1775 Wiehle Ave., Suite 201, Reston, VA 201950-5108
Founded by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, two of the “Fathers of the Internet,” the group’s mission is “to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.”