Everywhere I go people are talking about the Internet of things, whether a business opportunity, a further embedding of technology into our lives, or a way to save energy and reduce climate change. Certainly these may all be legitimate, Bryony and I debated how it might transform commerce – the introduction of ordering buttons to offices would certainly reduce the likelihood of running out of printer paper, and perhaps ocado could produce some thing to add items directly to my basket?
One thing we could both agree on was the promise of smart door locks – from letting yourself in while carrying something, to allowing remote access for a cleaner they offer so much potential. At the same time a quick survey of people I knew showed that none of them were considering such a device – inevitably because of fears about their security… How would my insurance company react? Could someone attack the device over the Internet and let themselves in? Indeed I wondered whether there might be new ways to ‘brute force’ a front door – an inconspicuous widget that attempted to gain access while you were out and then called it owner-burglar to let them know the coast is clear (another ‘thing’ on the Internet).
My personal concern was the apparent ongoing dependency on the manufacturer to provide remote management of the lock… What if they went under – would I be unable to get into my house?
The trouble it seems to me is – the Internet is flat – any device can talk to any other, and so as excited as I am about deploying more of these things I am very in-excited about them being spoken to by all the other devices on the Internet. I really want my own VPN over which I can be free of long term vendor support, and quietly able to keep the dumbness (or otherwise) of my house private.
… and so that’s what I want, not an Internet of things, but a VPN of possibly connected devices. Is there any wonder Bryony thinks i’m ‘how’ person…