On this year’s consumer electronics show, the dominant topic was Internet of Things. IoT has become an obsession among tech companies and many of them presented their smart devices ranging from mats to umbrellas to camera and even toilets.
On this year’s consumer electronics show, the dominant topic was Internet of Things. IoT has become an obsession among tech companies and many of them presented their smart devices ranging from mats to umbrellas to camera and even toilets. The utility of most of them is questionable but they were there anyway. So does IoT purchase make any sense? Let us briefly review some of the items.
The China-based Sleepace produces smart sleeping mats, which analyze your sleep patterns and the environment surrounding you at night. The information is collected by the company and securely stored. But how it is protected anyway? Yes, the data may not be as delicate as financial data but still. Is it prone to attacks? Probably, but who needs that kind of info.
Next stop, Vivint. The Utah firm has presented an upcoming free app that makes security camera’s video sharing between neighbors easy. The point here is clear – if your bike gets stolen you are able to track the movement of the robber using your neighbors’ videotapes and hopefully catch the thief. The app encrypts shared videos, which makes it partially protected from unfriendly personas.
The next one is a little bit more practical and ecological. Meet Sunflower, the solar-powered umbrella that tracks the sun’s movements and doubles in size. The umbrella is designed and manufactured by ShadeCraft and features Wi-Fi hotspot, security camera, and a Bluetooth speaker. And as you may have guessed it doesn’t come cheap. It costs $8.700 and the vast amount of info it collects is stored in a cloud run on Zively. The IoT-driven platform uses LogMeIn. The ShadeCraft website does not provide many details how exactly the collected data is protected.
Do you want a smart toilet? You can have Numi, produced by Kohler it is not connected to the internet but it has Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth allows users to stream music from nearby devices. It also has a touchscreen, how useful is that for a toilet? No internet, no attack surface. However, other Kohler products such as the smart mirror that runs Amazon’s Alexa can get compromised from distance. What about security? We only know the platform uses Microsoft’s cloud services.
As you can imagine the majority of these devices are quite expensive. For example, Numi costs $7,000, while the smart mirror is just $999.