The Internet of Things is an exciting innovation, currently underway with the convergence of; Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), cloud computing, Internet everywhere, sensor improvements and as new product sales are made to consumers & businesses.
However, when The Internet of Things becomes an affordable, readily-available option for home owners and renters, what will that do to alter; product pricing, human pattern conditioning, choice conflicts and process reliability? To elaborate;
We can reasonably expect the prices of consumer durable goods to rise, as a price premium is added for items that are ‘intelligent network-compatible’, compared to the ‘non-compatible’ version. It’s likely that if companies sell ‘alliance type’ compatibility (compatibility amongst a limited range of alliance brand products only), that price would likely operate at a discount to fully compatible (open standard) products.
Human pattern conditioning
Intelligent network-compatible devices are less likely to push consumers out of their familiar patterns and comfort zones. Being a coach potato is already made easily, thanks to remote-controller devices.
In addition, simply having an array of possible combinations to choose from, such as random settings on home lighting and music devices, doesn’t mean consumers will necessarily choose regular variety, or plan ahead.
Where two or more people live in a dwelling with intelligent network-compatible devices, then reconciling their individual preferences in the collective setting may be problematic. This is made more complicated with regular changes in tenants, or with visitors (external tradespeople, disabled visitors, adult visitors with children or pets etc).
On a related note, will children growing up in the World of The Internet of Things confuse demand (the intelligent system-compatible devices constantly configuring to provide them with perfect service) and supply (parental choice and discipline), effectively confusing access rights and ownership rights?
The process of daily living becomes more complex, as more Intelligent network-compatible devices are added. That said, the ‘master control system’s’ job is to automatically manage that task. However for the home occupants, what will give them ongoing ‘audit assurance’ on the reliability of the master control system & all the various intelligent network-compatible devices connected to it? Do the occupants blindly trust the system? Or still double-check that things are working properly and not sending out false-positive readings. Do the occupants find they need to install a further system to watch and test the master system?
In addition, for people living alone and using password-protected control systems, what happens when they die, or become chronically sick. Will their systems soldier on regardless?
Finally, what will The Internet of Things do for power relationships in the workplace?
Prisons, Courtrooms, Hospitals, Schools and Transport Companies will want those in control (not their charges) to maintain control over the things that affect professional quality, sanctions and access. For legal or political reasons, they may also want human accountability from appointed managers, with the control system operating under their judgement, not its own.