Smart Homes: How the Internet of Things (IoT) Is Changing the Way We Live

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A few years ago, the Internet of Things (IoT) was practically unheard of. With the exception of the science and tech industry, nobody really knew what is was or what it meant. Today, there are smart homes and smart cities in developed countries. How is IoT changing the way we live?

A few years ago, the Internet of Things (IoT) was practically unheard of. With the exception of the science and tech industry, nobody really knew what is was or what it meant. As the smart technology progressed along with the demand of more smart devices other than smart phones, the IoT gradually became a reality. Today, the IoT adoption in countries like Germany and Japan are certainly transforming their way of life in terms of virtual modern convenience.

So what then is the IoT? The Internet of Things is basically connecting devices with an on and off switch to the Internet. These devices could range from mobile phones, coffee makers, refrigerators, to components of machines in the industrial and energy sectors. The IoT is designed to improve cities and homes by providing connectivity to and with each other as well as with people within its ecosystem. Its continuous development is also increasing competition in the market—enabling more commercial manufacturers to create various devices that are fit for the future of IoT.

Rise of the machines: The Reality of Smart Homes

The global impact of the IoT is becoming more apparent nowadays. Leading developed countries who have already embraced the concept are slowly adopting smart homes and smart cities.

What is a smart home? Smart homes are essentially houses that have built-in smart systems that can connect with the owners—making physical contact unnecessary. It only takes a click to remotely execute commands that would enable a piece of device or machine to perform intelligently without human assistance. For example, you left your house without setting the security system. As soon as you realized this, you pull out your smart phone and open the security system app to activate it at home. This is only possible because your house has smart capabilities.

On a broader scale, utilizing the IoT on smart homes may not always work to the user’s benefit as there are still several risks associated with security, privacy, and safety. Unfortunately, while the IoT was created to make lives easier, it has not overcome its trial and error stage yet consequently lending windows of opportunities for would-be cybercriminals to infiltrate and hack a system. In 2015, a couple discovered that the baby monitor installed in their son’s room had been hacked. The incident served as a warning that home IoT devices could be vulnerable if not secured properly.

The Future of IoT

While the concept of IoT is still relatively foreign in the Philippines, it won’t be long before people will start jumping on the IoT bandwagon. While users expect an abundance of benefits from having smart homes, they should consider the security aspect of this technology as well. One of the most important ways of avoiding privacy and security risks is to examine the pros and cons of these smart systems and to make sure that your home network is secure in the first place. There are numerous areas and aspects of IoT that still needs to be explored—especially in connection with smart cities. Either way, people and machines are soon merging toward an exciting yet uncertain modern future.

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