With the internet of things, we are stepping into an epoch of major innovative changes in society. One only needs to look to the expansion of the ‘Internet of People’ to learn how rapidly and radically it evolved society, disrupted business models, and access the information. It is a good time to find out where this technology is leading to and also to learn about its benefits, and the ways it affects society.
The popular media tends to treat any technological innovation with enthusiasm as if every innovation is positive and should be continued without any control. If we study the history of the internet, we will find that it has provided a lot of benefits, and has turned out to an indispensable tool for millions of people. While learning more about IoT and cultural innovations it has brought, we must not oversee its impact on the business throughout the world.
The replacement of outsourced online services has vanished a lot of industries. Services including travel agencies, broadcast TV, call centers, IT services, print media, bank tellers have faced the severe impact of the internet, and many will disappear completely.
Telecommunications has turned out to be a commodity service, which is nearly free. Everyone with their access to the internet can communicate with each other, which is a good thing. With the high-bandwidth revolution, low-cost video streaming present everywhere will lead to a state where every action will be monitored under the category of ‘security.’ In many parts of the world, this is already happening to a great extent.
NEARLY FREE ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Nearly free access to information as well as online media has brought drastic changes to the publishing business, rapidly growing the quality of information while decreasing the quality. With the failure of subscription models, a large number of news sources and online media have opted to advertise a way to finance their operations, which turned free press to a market for selling broadcast content. Even though it is easy to access terabytes of data from anyplace, it has become really difficult to find out the real facts, which means it is difficult to find what truth is.
The Internet has led to greater shifts in the manner we work, communicate, protect, entertain ourselves, and consume information. This has made it easy to access digital media, usually at zero cost. A debatable topic is that despite the innovations brought by the internet has also created a place where jobs are outsourced more and more to low-cost countries with questionable human rights and policies for the environment. Valuable content is plagiarized easily and this deprives creators of an income, which makes it harder to trust any information because of its pure unfiltered volume.
The Internet of things is working the same way as the internet of people is, though delayed by nearly 10 years. Looking at IoT and its greatest impact, we must also note the advantage with its social consequences.
There are specific areas where the applications of IoT are enhancing life for a large number of people. There are several areas where complete industries will be eliminated. Technology looks like a relentless force and internet a strong force growing it, irrespective of political or geographical boundaries.
THE POSITIVE APPLICATIONS OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS:
SMART POWER GRID
In this area, the IoT is helping us to unbind ourselves from fossil fuels. Even though it is quite cheap, there is a limited supply of oil. At a certain point, society will have to opt for renewable sources of energy from ocean currents to hydro. All of them are unpredictable, variable, and distributed geographically. Exchange of significant information to match supply and demand is important to turn them financially strong.
BUILDING AUTOMATION AND HEALTH CARE
Like the smart grid, smart buildings that are capable of optimizing energy usage, intrusion, and save people from fire is a positive application of the internet of things.
Another way IoT is contributing advantageously to society is through the health care sector. With populations turning older throughout the globe, the ability to watch and protect people has lowered costs and boosted the quality of life.
To balance the substitution of low-skilled jobs by related machines, humans are required to grasp more knowledge to set up a future where most of the manual labor is conducted by robots. IoT is the perfect way to educate and train a large number of people in remote areas. This needs a push from the public sector, as it will be a non-profit attempt to reach the masses, particularly in developing countries.
THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF IOT
LOSS OF PRIVACY
From family photos to financial details, every information has its existence in remote servers. Some headlines have described the breach of mass security where the personal and financial information were stolen from the systems. Incidents like these are an example of the situations that can be created in the future.
The innovations and machines turning smarter may soon replace the entire human efforts in manufacturing or agricultural process. This will be the reason for the unemployment of millions of people. Jobs that were initially outsourced from developed countries to the developing ones, abolishing the middle class, all of it will be eliminated collectively. There are two perspectives for a situation like this, it can be devastating as per societal standpoint whereas an advantage from a profit standpoint.
This swiftly developing technology promises a large number of benefits such as increased safety and lower costs. However, the term driverless clearly describes the result, which means no more requirement of the human driver for taxi, truck, train, or tram.
Every year we hand over information and trusts to associates machines. As there is nobody to ensure that everyone is benefited from this trend, authority defaults come in the hands of those who stand to gain the most. There is a clear debate for the government involved in the distribution and regulation of IoT. With the contrasts in wealth distribution throughout the world and IoT a strengthened way to handle it, both private and public sectors are indulged in the evolution of the internet of things to ensure a fair balance between machine and human.