The Internet of Things : Fad or Future?

So how many people do you know use a pre-programmed coffee machine to have a cup of hot coffee ready when they wake up? How many of them have a remote to operate curtains, light, heating, or can do it from their phones? How may have other features in their environment that work pre-programmed or operated from mobile device?

I have plenty of friends that I visited at their homes, people with decent jobs that I know for many years. Well, one of them has a coffee machine with a timer that he uses, and another friend is quite engaged in the remote features that Apple offers with their range.

That’s it. No more.

So where are the avid TIoT Users? Why don’t I hear people brag about it, let alone talk about it? The question here is whether it really is such a big deal to have your curtains close automatically before you come home, have your bed warmed up, your hot bath running and so on. And you know why? Because we are not robots. A charcteristic of freedom is being able to take the time to do things by yourself. So is being free to do the unexpected, divert from daily habits. And surely making coffee is not for everybody a drag. For some it is part of the morning ritual. Getting between the cold sheets with your partner can make you feel so alive and makes you cuddle up with each other, and even choosing the temperature of your bath tub can be a moment thing, waiting for it to fill can heighten the experience when you step in.

That may explain why so many people like the idea, imagine their homes that way, but so few take the step to buy and install it. Some of the products are not quite cheap or require a pricy installation. For people with a moderate budget, the question may rise ‘Is it worth it? Or is it like the expensive bubble bath that you end up using twice a year?’

But it’s not all about price, because some stuff really is within reach of most people with a regular income. Then the question rises if you want to take the charm of ‘coming home’ away? Lastly, there is the barrier of the ‘hassle’ of programming, the risk of forgetting and of course the fear of something going wrong.

From what I can see, too many hurdles. And that makes The Internet of Things a giant leap… in Gadget Land.


P2P Payments

I am really curious how Apple will do it. Not the money exchange process in particular, but I would like to know if every transaction will be passed over a bank or not. Or in other words if the money exchanged will electronically pass from one bank account to another through a ‘facilitaded money transfer’, or if it will really be a wallet to wallet process like bitcoin. Given the article mentions P2P is very often used in Africa by ‘unbanked’ people, the latter is likely the case. This obviously raises the same security questions bitcoin has, but the interconnectiveness with other Apple devices can likely provide some guidance.

I just wonder what governments think about this. Since about 10 years, most western countries initiated a cash hunt under the pretext of fighting criminal money and terrorism. A somewhat doubtful reason given the oil deals that IS made with many countries for the past two years, raising them billions of blood-dollars. It has proven that projects like FACTA and similar setups in Europe are merely in place from purpose of tax-control than really fighting crime and terrorism. Governments already check every payment you make, since you can no longer send large amounts of money without providing evidence or reason.

I see P2P transactions potentially as a thorn in the eye of these governments, as it opens the door to easy money exchange without control. Criminal money exchanges will all pass over this system. Makes me wonder what governments are going to do to try and get some control over this.

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What After the Smartphone?

Maybe the most significant article I recently read concerned a remark from Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai, saying he was expecting a follow-up device to the smartphone. He marked a timing of two to four years in the future where such a device could be expected.

That may be correct, although I kinda doubt the eta. I believe that the software concept that is currently dominating smartphones will first have to change drastically for that to happen.

Apple changed the smartphone into a wonderful device, but I believe the software never made the transition with the hardware. Surely there are great apps, but interaction between apps is still very poor. Operating systems barely allow cross-app interactions that would bring the software on par with the concept of the device, being practical, fast and mobile. And although the software coding is getting more and more sophisticated, allowing for amazing possibilities, the platform concepts are still holding back the real breakthrough that would enable the smartphone to evolve into a new superior concept. So the real eta would be 2-4 years after this transition, earliest.

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