The Stack Archive

Laziness, Boredom and The Internet of Things

Thu 24 Jul 2014

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become the most exciting thing to hit the technology world since Grand Theft Auto 4 was released. My dad is 67 years old and having watched a quick feature on this on ‘Click’ on BBC News, he is now convincing anyone who will listen of the huge advantages to gained through the IoT.

‘Imagine being able to go on holiday to the Maldives and be able to set the central heating remotely’. Yes imagine that. Prepare yourself for the excitement of this exact scenario (if you can) and hold onto your seat. Unsurprisingly my mum’s response to this was ‘I think I’d rather go to Thailand this year’.

My mother is convinced that almost any technology that makes life easier is lazy. Whilst for years it has been possible to have a timed sprinkler system, during the summer she still fills up a watering can five hundred and forty seven times to water the garden. When I lived there during my spotty period, she usually wanted help. The deep psychological trauma I experienced from this has ensured as an adult I refuse to live in a property with a garden. The sight of a potted plant makes me feel physically sick.

Leading back to the IoT, this does raise an interesting question – has humanity gone too far with its quest to make life easier?
In the not too distant future your fridge will be able to order food for you when you run out. Your car will book itself into a service. Your car will be able to direct you to available parking spaces. Your house will start turning things on and off dependent on when you’re going to use them. These are just some of the consumer applications.

In each generation there is some killjoy out there who believes things should be done the hard way; there were undoubtedly some ancient Mesopotamians moaning that the wheel was making life too easy.

The IoT isn’t about being the type of person who wants to set their air conditioning levels whilst on holiday. It isn’t about being able to turn on your paper shredder whilst sat in the car. I’m still at a loss as to how some people have made something so cool, sound so boring.

The IoT is about how all devices and technologies will interact together and the massive pool of intelligent data that will save us a massive amount of time and energy. Some will argue this will make us lazier. But if it means that scientists have more time to invent a cure for horrible diseases, or it gives me more time to brush up my skills on FIFA 14, it should be treated as the incredible revolution it is.

If you work in technology you understand this. Please when explaining this to friends and family can you do so without being boring?



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