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Internet of Things: are we already there?

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
I've recently heard a lot about the Internet of Things, and while so far I've mainly dismissed it as a gimmick that may become important in the future, I've been wondering if there are some applications that are already interesting, useful or simply cool enough to check out. There've been some technological advances in the past that I simply wasn't aware of until they'd become established, so I was wondering: have people here already been exposed to the Internet of Things? What sort of tech and applications have you interacted with? Which of these do you think are already at a point where they're of interest to others than just technophile early adopters?

Edit: It's quite possible that a number of things I've already got in my daily life would count as IoT, but I'm simply not aware of all the things included in the term.

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  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    probably the two things that many "normals" would know about would be a nest thermostat, and home security cameras that are IP based, those are both "IoT" type devices. Close to that list would be something like Phillips Hue light bulbs. I know a lot of people that know about those as well.

    We're at the start of the "IoT era" in that companies are still basically throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad, and a lot of that will also depend on what an individual likes/dislikes. I know a lot of people who think the nest thermostat is the dumbest thing ever, while others love it. There are countless other examples that a person could come up with.

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    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    There's the lightbulbs (Flux/LIFX) and a lot of fridges are starting to head to the IoT as well.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    We're at the start of the "IoT era" in that companies are still basically throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.
    Yeah, that was my impression as well, based on the couple of things I've read recently. I was briefly fascinated by the thought of those Philips Hue light bulbs, but in the end they wouldn't have been much more than a gimmick for our household. (Since we rent, it's less relevant anyway, as we're renting, so it's not like we're going to get a new fridge or anything similar anytime soon.) Anyway, I guess we're in that phase where a lot of what they try will seem silly, but that experimentation is necessary to see what'll actually work. Anyway, thanks for the replies!

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    More zombies for the ever growing IOT botnets and additional candidates for security vulnerabilities which will never be fixed or the fixes and updates will be hard to deploy.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I work in the IoT industry and we use cellular modems for connectivity. Ambulances, buses, cop cars, firetrucks and kiosks. There are millions on millions of these devices out there that are completely machine to machine, without any interaction by a person. This stuff has been out there for quite a while in the commercial and government circles.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    As the Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and the LingLong DingDong gain places in a majority of households, more and more random shit will be given a wifi adapter so you can interact with it remotely. I really think that may be one of the major impact points, as people enjoy doing things like turning on the oven with their Alexa or DingDong.
    Yes I made this post so I could talk about the LingLong DingDong.

    https://www.wired.com/2016/11/behold-chinas-answer-amazon-echo-linglong-dingdong/

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  • SeidkonaSeidkona Had an upgrade Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I think I would wait for the DingDong XL.

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  • thatassemblyguythatassemblyguy he/him Gorman 2036Registered User regular
    Dratatoo wrote: »
    More zombies for the ever growing IOT botnets and additional candidates for security vulnerabilities which will never be fixed or the fixes and updates will be hard to deploy.

    I'm still resisting the siren song of the IoT connected household. Mainly because I know it will be a project and a half to tackle a lot of issues like, but not limited to, 1) my light bulbs aren't phoning home, 2) they aren't being used in a dyn-style attack, 3) they are sufficiently guarded from attack and misuse by a random goose in the area. 4) Setting up an internal controller that doesn't rely on phoning into a third party service (this will require reverse engineering the protocols or the ability to side-load customer firmware)

    However, the promise of coupling some geofencing with a controller that will turn on lights and start playing some music when I get home after work is p. tempting.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    We haven't even scratched the surface of IoT. Engineers aren't being terribly creative with the space yet and a lot transformative stuff is around the corner. Eventually IoT is going to become a default state for objects rather than a novelty with economic inequality and garbage internet providers being some of the major barriers to this not happening much faster.

    Give it two generations and IoT will be ubiquitous in the first world doing things that sounds silly today.

    syndalis
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    We haven't even scratched the surface of IoT. Engineers aren't being terribly creative with the space yet and a lot transformative stuff is around the corner. Eventually IoT is going to become a default state for objects rather than a novelty with economic inequality and garbage internet providers being some of the major barriers to this not happening much faster.

    Give it two generations and IoT will be ubiquitous in the first world doing things that sounds silly today.

    But *what* will it be doing? Webguy touched on some commercial stuff, but has anyone heard of any potentially revolutionary consumer stuff coming down the pipeline? Personally I don't get the point of nest, alexa, etc, and the whole thing seems way overhyped to me, but I'd love to be wrong.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Marty81 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    We haven't even scratched the surface of IoT. Engineers aren't being terribly creative with the space yet and a lot transformative stuff is around the corner. Eventually IoT is going to become a default state for objects rather than a novelty with economic inequality and garbage internet providers being some of the major barriers to this not happening much faster.

    Give it two generations and IoT will be ubiquitous in the first world doing things that sounds silly today.

    But *what* will it be doing? Webguy touched on some commercial stuff, but has anyone heard of any potentially revolutionary consumer stuff coming down the pipeline? Personally I don't get the point of nest, alexa, etc, and the whole thing seems way overhyped to me, but I'd love to be wrong.

    ever been in your bed and went "gosh I'm hot, I really don't want to go turn the central air on"

    that's what nest fills in

    smart homes are absolutely amazing and revolutionary just like smart phones were

    I've actually saved almost $150 this year in electric because I have really finite control over what my furnace does. I can start cooling/warming my house in different ways or schedule it in a way better and easier way than those honeywell "programmable" thermostats that no one actually ever programmed anyways.

    I can override if I'm extra cold or hot and all that.

    If I had security system (camera) I'd probably use that too. I don't know if I necessarily need a fridge with a camera in it, but that's cool, I guess there's benefits there "shit do we have milk for mashed potatoes tonight?" and then you'd know because you can take a quick peek to see it.

    The sky is the limit.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Incenjucar
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Marty81 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    We haven't even scratched the surface of IoT. Engineers aren't being terribly creative with the space yet and a lot transformative stuff is around the corner. Eventually IoT is going to become a default state for objects rather than a novelty with economic inequality and garbage internet providers being some of the major barriers to this not happening much faster.

    Give it two generations and IoT will be ubiquitous in the first world doing things that sounds silly today.

    But *what* will it be doing? Webguy touched on some commercial stuff, but has anyone heard of any potentially revolutionary consumer stuff coming down the pipeline? Personally I don't get the point of nest, alexa, etc, and the whole thing seems way overhyped to me, but I'd love to be wrong.

    ever been in your bed and went "gosh I'm hot, I really don't want to go turn the central air on"

    that's what nest fills in

    smart homes are absolutely amazing and revolutionary just like smart phones were

    I've actually saved almost $150 this year in electric because I have really finite control over what my furnace does. I can start cooling/warming my house in different ways or schedule it in a way better and easier way than those honeywell "programmable" thermostats that no one actually ever programmed anyways.

    I can override if I'm extra cold or hot and all that.

    If I had security system (camera) I'd probably use that too. I don't know if I necessarily need a fridge with a camera in it, but that's cool, I guess there's benefits there "shit do we have milk for mashed potatoes tonight?" and then you'd know because you can take a quick peek to see it.

    The sky is the limit.

    I'm all for the connected home, but why does it have to be on the Internet? Are Wifi lights the wave of the future? I'd say we need more a centralized server setup for the smart home versus everything being connected to the net.

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    Calica
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Marty81 wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    We haven't even scratched the surface of IoT. Engineers aren't being terribly creative with the space yet and a lot transformative stuff is around the corner. Eventually IoT is going to become a default state for objects rather than a novelty with economic inequality and garbage internet providers being some of the major barriers to this not happening much faster.

    Give it two generations and IoT will be ubiquitous in the first world doing things that sounds silly today.

    But *what* will it be doing? Webguy touched on some commercial stuff, but has anyone heard of any potentially revolutionary consumer stuff coming down the pipeline? Personally I don't get the point of nest, alexa, etc, and the whole thing seems way overhyped to me, but I'd love to be wrong.

    ever been in your bed and went "gosh I'm hot, I really don't want to go turn the central air on"

    that's what nest fills in

    smart homes are absolutely amazing and revolutionary just like smart phones were

    I've actually saved almost $150 this year in electric because I have really finite control over what my furnace does. I can start cooling/warming my house in different ways or schedule it in a way better and easier way than those honeywell "programmable" thermostats that no one actually ever programmed anyways.

    I can override if I'm extra cold or hot and all that.

    If I had security system (camera) I'd probably use that too. I don't know if I necessarily need a fridge with a camera in it, but that's cool, I guess there's benefits there "shit do we have milk for mashed potatoes tonight?" and then you'd know because you can take a quick peek to see it.

    The sky is the limit.

    I'm all for the connected home, but why does it have to be on the Internet? Are Wifi lights the wave of the future? I'd say we need more a centralized server setup for the smart home versus everything being connected to the net.

    Being able to control this stuff while I'm not home is a big deal to me.

    There was a really hot day in the middle of march where it hit 90 and I wanted to precool the house on my way home but my system was still on heat mode. I was at one of those 5+ minute intersections and I loaded up my NEST app and switched it to cool in about 5 seconds.

    Lots of practicality with the internet there. I agree not everything needs to be on the IoT, but smart homes I think are going to play heavily with it especially for fridges/pantries to see what you've got in stock.

    I imagine with AI it'll even give you an inventory as you move things around and take/add. Alerts, etc.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Incenjucar
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Right, connected homes in the long term will auto-populate shopping lists for you (then place the order with amazon and have it delivered by whole foods / whomever without you needing to be involved in the process aside from curating the list or adding to it), after a couple years, smart homes will know how you like temperatures being set by season + time of day + outside temps and will make intelligent choices on the fly based on all available information. Right now its cool you can open up an app when it is 90deg outside and you want your home to be cool when you arrive; better still when you give your smart home access to your calendar and GPS and it does it for you because it knows all the variables.

    front doors that unlock and open when you are in proximity courtesy of smart usage of bluetooth or rfid

    whenever you are on vacation, being able to have your house cycle through various activities to keep things looking lived-in, and notify you if something is broken (home is overly hot the AC needs maintenance, fridge broken, water leak) and allow you to let a service person in to resolve the problem without needing to be there.

    Riffing on that - when friends or family are in town giving them temporary token access to your home for 3 days or a week so they can go in without you and you dont need to hand off spare keys or do something terribly insecure like hiding them under a rock or doormat.

    I could go on.

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  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    A 2 factor authentication style popup notification saying "so and so is at your front door, do you want to let them in?" with a video feed of them standing on your doormat would be super dope.

    CarpysyndalisbowenIncenjucar
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Try to imagine if every device around you had a computer built into it with all five senses and perfect information about everything around it. Like you were in some sort of Beauty and the Beast sci-fi full of sentient objects.

    What if your air conditioner knew your face.

    What if your shoes knew what your feet normally smelled like.

    What if your shower could tell if you had someone in there with you.

    What if your mechanical pencil knew if it was about to run out of lead or eraser nub.

    What if the floor noticed that your pulse had changed.

    What if your soap dispenser knew if you were using toilet paper.

    What if your car knew you didn't close the garage on your way to work.

    What if everything you normally use could fulfill its function without you even knowing about it

    And what if all of these things could work together towards dozens of different goals all at once, like keeping you healthy, well-rested, happy, and comfortable

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    And then what if the security on those devices was kind of shit, so someone came along and downloaded all that meta data and had data on your facial recognition patterns, your smell, your average heart rate, how often you shit, your handwriting, your home and work locations and usual driving routes.

    And then they sold that data to anyone who wanted it in one neat little package.

    What is this I don't even.
    NaphtaliShadowfireCalicafurlionIncenjucarwebguy20BahamutZEROthatassemblyguya5ehren
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    And someone halfway across the world uses your house along with every other smarthome to do a ddos attack on Blizzard/Microsoft/ACLU servers.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If you were designing it right, they'd be microcontrollers the implement a very specific piece of the IP stack.

    You wouldn't want to give it the ability to ping or send packets at random, but rather only listen and respond to an incoming request.

    Think more arduino than raspberry pi.

    But I know at the end of the day it's just going to be easier to make it do "everything" and become easily exploitable.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    CalicaFerala5ehren
  • LD50LD50 Registered User regular
    They'll make it do "everything" because it will be cheaper to use an off the shelf SoC that does everything by design and they'll just forget about the features they're not using.

    bowenCalicafurlionIncenjucarNaphtaliFeralAiouathatassemblyguy
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Yeeeep. IoT security is genuinely upsetting right now. It outright needs regulation.

    ShadowfireFeralbowen
  • SadgasmSadgasm Deluded doodler A cold placeRegistered User regular
    I've heard about this, but it always seemed like one step too far. I mean, technology is awesome when it comes to entertainment and efficiency, but this feels like it crosses into those old dystopian sci fi movies from the 70s.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Sadgasm wrote: »
    I've heard about this, but it always seemed like one step too far. I mean, technology is awesome when it comes to entertainment and efficiency, but this feels like it crosses into those old dystopian sci fi movies from the 70s.

    Well, wait until you hear about Amazon's latest idea!
    The service relies on a Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The camera is the hub, connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices.
    When a courier arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the barcode, sending a request to Amazon’s cloud. If everything checks out, the cloud grants permission by sending a message back to the camera, which starts recording. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilà, your door unlocks. They drop off the package, relock the door with another swipe, and are on their way. The customer will get a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly.

    There is only one correct response:

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    bowen
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Man, I think this is actually a great idea.

    I want to get to the point where we do have permissions-driven access to our homes, so long as we remain the arbiters.

    Allow delivery people in the home for one minute, let them drop packages off, know they are being monitored, and then if they don't leave escalate to me so I can contact authorities / turn on alarm, etc.

    Allow service people to enter the home when you are away but notify me with push that the person is in the home and run the cameras while they are there.

    Allow cleaners access to my apartment within specified windows of time without having to give them a key they can use literally any time they want.

    Allow friends from out of town a 3 day "token" to my apartment to enter and use as if I gave them a key.

    None of these things feel bad to me

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  • ZxerolZxerol bat tail beaver /w a measuring tape Registered User regular
    edited October 2017
    Allow some rando in because your smartlock has an unpatched zeroday.

    Zxerol on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    Man, I think this is actually a great idea.

    I want to get to the point where we do have permissions-driven access to our homes, so long as we remain the arbiters.

    Allow delivery people in the home for one minute, let them drop packages off, know they are being monitored, and then if they don't leave escalate to me so I can contact authorities / turn on alarm, etc.

    Allow service people to enter the home when you are away but notify me with push that the person is in the home and run the cameras while they are there.

    Allow cleaners access to my apartment within specified windows of time without having to give them a key they can use literally any time they want.

    Allow friends from out of town a 3 day "token" to my apartment to enter and use as if I gave them a key.

    None of these things feel bad to me

    One word: piggybacking. Giving the delivery man access isn't so great if the burglar is right behind him.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    A lot of that could be handled outside of being an IoT device, though. It'd be more work, sure.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Darkewolfe
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    so long as we remain the arbiters.

    There's your sticking point right there.

    It's not accomplishing much that just having one of those realtor locks with a key inside it that uses a four button code to open doesn't accomplish, except for the monitoring thing which we'll get to in a second. Both are incredibly easy to break and very difficult to verify as secure.

    As for the monitoring thing, if you want to go that route connect an offline camera that watches the door and record that to local storage. Also set up an alarm that sends notification that a door has been opened, but is not connected to other online systems.

    The camera that is broadcasting online to you is actually the one that I find creepiest. There aren't many connected camera devices that we haven't, at some point or another, been able to crack and access as an unauthorized user. You don't want streaming cameras in your home.

    What is this I don't even.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    There are entire websites devoted to unsecured webcams too.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    So, this is a pretty good summation of Why Amazon Key Is A Bad Idea:
    What is the risk here?

    there's like literally no part of this that isn't risk

    Delivery person takes a physical object. Delivery person engages in theft of your identity. Delivery person uses your internet for illicit things. Delivery person accidentally damages stuff or injures a pet or another household member. Delivery person intentionally does any of those things. Delivery person accidentally or intentionally provides someone else access to your house, and that someone else then does any of the aforementioned things.

    Delivery person trips and falls or is otherwise injured in your home. Are you now legally liable? Delivery person forgets to lock up. Who is liable if theft or property damage ensues -- Amazon, or the delivery person, or you?

    Delivery person steals stuff out of your package and replaces it before they make the on-camera delivery. Amazon shrugs and says 'well we have video so you're not getting a refund.'

    And that's just the delivery person aspect! Smart locks are ridiculously hackable. Amazon now has physical access to your home -- will law enforcement pressure them to grant access to your home 'in an emergency' or for other purposes? Amazon now has a camera in your house and the ability to turn it on... whenever.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Not a Fictional Character Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Personally, I'd just put the Key on a bin with a door on it. Something like a small shed or big outhouse.

    Could be good on a gate, too.

    Incenjucar on
    MvrckHappylilElf
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