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The top tech trend for 2016 may already be here

December 17th, 2015 No comments

Well, 2016 is nearly here and many people are asking what to look for in new technology for the coming year.  While there have been many cool advances in trends such as 3D printing and drones, the greatest on the horizon is more of an idea than the actual product.  This is the Internet of Things.  The concept is basically the interconnectivity of, well, things.

In the home setting, the Internet of Things (IoT) could include the thermostat, fridge, stove, coffee maker, television, garage door, locks, etc… all being connected via the internet to create a space that is constantly gathering data and using that data for your convenience.  This idea isn’t limited to personal use, though.  IoT has proven very impactful at an industrial level as well.  Many factories are already using this in production where they have multiple machines gathering data constantly and then relaying it to each other.  This allows production to make real time changes and drive up efficiency.  

We had a chance to get some insight into the Internet of Things from Jeff Hasenauer, VP of Technology here at Intellicom.  Jeff made it clear that IoT isn’t just something that has popped out of nowhere.  He has actually been using many items that utilize this idea for years now.  He does think, however, that IoT is picking up speed in the commercial space.  He has seen countless ads for items this holiday season in particular using IoT that haven’t been in the past such as coffee makers, baby monitors, and crock pots.

Although there is a major cool factor in IoT that many are excited about, Jeff warns of some serious security risks you are taking when using these items.  When you add more and more connections to the internet, you leave more opportunities for hackers to gain access to those items and see the data that the devices are constantly collecting.

For example, a connected thermostat seems harmless enough but you need to be aware that if you set that thermostat to run according to the hours you are home (as most do) and a hacker gains entry into that system, they instantly have knowledge of whenever you are, or aren’t, home.  This also applies to devices that record audio or capture video.  Hackers who gain access to those devices would be able to potentially access that microphone or camera. 

Jeff advises that when you are looking into these type of products, try to find a company that  manufactures multiple devices or integrates multiple features into one device.  This way, if you have problems, you are only one phone call away from accessing support.   He also advocates buying from reputable companies rather than seeking out the cheapest solution.  With your security at risk, the costs are just too great to do otherwise.       

With this considered, IoT is still a concept that has monumental potential in enhancing user experiences, creating more efficiency, and revolutionizing the way people and businesses operate day to day.  It is growing exponentially and will most likely be a major part of technology looking forward.  We at Intellicom are proud to continue providing you with the latest insights into understanding the future of technology.  We wish you Happy Holidays and a successful 2016!  

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