The Pros and Cons of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or the IoT, is a system of intelligent devices that can connect to each other and even make limited decisions based on the information that they’ve gathered. However, like any other technology it has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The Pros of the Internet of Things
- Automation – This benefit shines especially in industries like manufacturing and transformation. Factories that used to require a lot of human intervention can now do regular tasks with minimal supervision. The machines can communicate to each other, gather data and make limited decisions thanks to sensors and wireless technology.
- Increased Output – Thanks to the intelligence of these IoT devices, error is kept at a minimum and the human work force can focus on their tasks. Ultimately, this leads to better output.
- Cost Savings – Just as there is a boost in productivity, companies with smarter facilities will be able to see considerable savings since their employees will be more productive and the IoT devices are automating the other processes.
This can be noticed in everyone’s daily life as well. For example, smart thermostats can adjust their settings to be more energy-efficient, leading to lower bills.
- Information – Wherever you are, as long as you can connect to the Internet, you’ll be able to gather the information you need. A good example of this is the Petnet SmartFeeder which will notify you whenever you’re low on pet food.
- Time-Saving – Repetitive tasks can be done by IoT devices so that the employees can focus on tasks that require creativity and better decision-making. At home, the use of IoT devices like Amazon’s Alexa can help you save time by allowing you to do certain tasks via voice commands.
- Better Quality of Life – IoT devices are made with this goal in mind. The comfort and convenience that people can get from this technology can certainly improve the quality of life.
The Cons of the Internet of Things
- Privacy and Security – This is the number one concern that consumers and manufacturers have regarding the IoT. As of today, no standards have been created yet that will regulate the security and privacy issues that comes with IoT devices.
For example, something as innocent as a smart toy can be gathering your child’s personal information. These data can be potentially misused for fraud and exploitation.
- Over-Reliance on Technology – The IoT was created to make life easier via automation. However, depending too much on this technology can pose a problem when the applications crash or there is no available Internet connection.
- Less Jobs – Since more and more machines are taking over the tasks that humans used to do, there will be less employment prospects. This can cause a large number of people to be jobless.
- Compatibility – Different companies are manufacturing IoT devices, with each one using their own technology for connection. Thus, the issue of how one device can connect to another device from a different company can communicate arises. In fact, even between devices that are using Bluetooth technology, there are still sometimes issues regarding compatibility.
- Complexity – The IoT and the IoT ecosystem are very diverse and complicated. A single bug or failure from one of the main devices can possibly cause problems for the entire network. There’s also the issue of the loss of connectivity in case there are power outages or connection problems.
Despite the downsides of the IoT, the era of the Internet of Things will surely come and depending on how one looks at it, have already begun. It is a technology that will greatly change how we live our lives. With these pros and cons in mind, do you think the Internet of Things is worth it?