In our last blog post, we introduced the Internet of Things (IoT). Since then, there’s been a big development in the news. Wired magazine is calling it “a case where the IoT is doing tangible work to change the way business and society may function in the future.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published two recall announcements, one from Tesla Motors and one from GM. Both are related to problems that could cause fires. GM had to send millions of notices to customers telling them to head over to the auto shop for repair.
What did Tesla do? The company sent an “over the air” software update directly to the cars. That’s right – Tesla used wireless technology to update people’s cars in the same way smartphone receive software updates. Cars stayed in the garage, and unless you were paying attention to the news, you wouldn’t even know something was wrong.
Tesla’s “self fix” could be considered one of the purest examples of the Internet of Things because it foreshadows majors changes to come. Systems can be tweaked, and problems can be solved before they even occur. We’re talking a world of completely preventative maintenance, no manpower needed unless truly necessary.
Plus, it changes consumer expectations, giving competitive advantages to companies that can incorporate wireless technology into everyday items. Not only would companies that sell IoT items benefit from positive PR, it could also make them an industry leader with first mover advantage.
Yet there are reasons to be wary of the Internet of Things (IoT). Summed up in one word – security. Any cybersecurity weakpoint could endanger highly valuable property or even become a safety hazard to the owner. The Internet, by definition can never be fully secure, and it will be a constant challenge to block hackers. Plus, human error is a perpetual weak spot. A large percentage of people use identical or very similar passwords for multiple services and online accounts.
Yet again, we’re entering uncharted waters.