Whether you call it “smart” living or the Internet of Things, many of the physical objects around us are connected to the web in one way or another, a development that is radically transforming how we live.
Even if you don’t yet own a smart device in your home, chances are you will in the very near future: Cisco predicts there will be 50 billion Internet-connected devices in the world by 2020.
“From robots that chop up your vegetables to detectors that measure how long you sleep, such ‘smart’ appliances are becoming more and more a part of daily life,” said the news service Phys.org recently in its coverage of the Dublin Web Summit, one of the largest tech conferences in Europe.
Here are two smart products that were presented last week in Dublin and a third one recently released in South Korea:
- Private Chef: Everycook is a sensor-based, Internet-enabled kitchen device that takes in fresh, raw ingredients – and produces a finished meal. You play a minor role by picking the recipe from among its many offered choices, purchasing the ingredients and doing some very basic prep (it doesn’t yet peel vegetables, for example, though it does chop). It not only saves time, it promotes healthy eating by focusing on home-cooked meals as opposed to processed food.
- Independent Living: CastleOS is a home-based personal assistant that opens doors, controls lights, sets room temperatures and even adjusts bed positions while you sleep. The device can be controlled from your smartphone, your tablet or your voice, making it convenient for seniors who want to remain in their homes and delay moving to assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
- Smart Furniture: South Korea’s mobile carrier SK Telecom and furniture maker Hyungai Livart recently unveiled a new line of smart furniture, including tables and cabinet doors with built-in touchscreens. “Users can use the furniture pieces to browse the Internet, listen to the radio and search the news or recipes, food prices and the weather,” Cnet reported.
While the Internet of Things promises to revolutionize the way we live, some worry it might also invade our privacy.
“Just what happens to the data spewed out by all these interlinked machines is a deep concern shared by many security researchers, legal authorities, government officials and consumer advocates,” reported the Seattle Times over the weekend. “They fear the information could be used to skew our credit ratings, jack up our insurance rates, help hackers steal our money, or enable spy agencies to compile detailed dossiers on each of us.”
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