Eric Dupertuis

Your lightbulb is stupid

<rant>

Cisco estimates the IoT will consist of 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020

I mean, that’s a truckload of devices, and a truckload of money, but the really important point here for me is that : It’s a lot of money for such a stupid market.

I sincerely believe this whole Internet Of Things is a bad idea. We try to implement features in basic everyday objects just to add some commercial value to it (and making it unreliable at the same time).

Remember the iKettle™ ? Some people really thought that this was a ground-breaking invention and they were super excited about it. I mean, you could boil water using an app… Yeah I can do that using a button on my kettle, no need to launch some proprietary application on my phone.

Just Because you can, doesn't mean you should

One of the selling point of the iKettle™ is :

Hanging around the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil is a thing of the past.

Seriously ? My kettle takes 40 seconds to boil water, you can’t wait 40 seconds ? Is it really faster to take your phone, launch the app and launch the boil water command ? Do you need to automate that ? Are you that lazy ?

Oh, and you still have to put water in the damn thing…

It makes you wonder what you will do with all your spare time…

What productive task can you do in 40 seconds at 6.30 in the morning when you wake up ? Well, not much… I’ll probably just add some butter on a slice of toast as most people would. That’s not really a revolution on my lifestyle to be honest.

The lack of standards

Google Brillo, Apple HomeKit, Oracle IoT, etc… Everyone is trying to push it’s own standard and there’s no interoperability between them. Most IoT devices come with their own app (which is often pretty bad, come on…). It means that if you own multiple devices from different manufacturers, you have multiple apps on your smartphone, you better grab that external battery, you’ll need it.

Major trust issues

Let’s talk about security shall we ? I won’t point out that fact that any decent programmer / hacker can doodle with some IoT library, get some sensors and wires together and come up with a new awesome product that will make your life easier™ and then promote it, find people to invest and sell it (Kickstarter, here I come). I could point out the fact that some people hacked a jeep or a TP750 rifle, I mean…

What could possibly go wrong ?

We’re talking about cars and rifles here, but they were some smart lightbulbs that could be hacked to get access to your wireless network’s credentials.

I would trust an open source system based on an open standard that is not connected to the internet… maybe.

It’s not an automation problem

Just to be clear, I’m not against a bit of home automation, my problem is all the fuss about remote access and connecting everything. I don’t want my home automation system to be remotely controlled, I would want my whole system to be as secure as possible and off the grid. I would probably want it on a sub-network of his own with his own wi-fi… (Am I being paranoid ?). I don’t want my desk fan to be controlled by my smartphone (and drain its battery), I’m not that lazy, I can press a button. I don’t want to track everything that my body is doing using smart wearables. Stop making things smart and try to solve problems that simply don’t exist

I want all my devices to be secure and useful, why would it be different for my home automation and other IoT stuff ?

Maximum security here !

I’m not against everything IoT

There are some projects that do draw my attention and that I do find interesting and/or useful, such as Walli, The Smart Wallet. The idea of a wallet connected to a phone is good (for me at least) because I’m a freaking maniac about my wallet’s security (I have one with a clip, to be sure it doesn’t fall out of my pocket). On the other end, a smart lunchbox, I find that to be a tad useless.

</rant>

The major drawback for me is the multiplication of applications that you need, the fact that you must now charge a lot more devices (or leave them on all the time), the fact that proprietary applications sometime do shady shit in the background or simply the fact that smart objects don’t really solve any of my problems. On the contrary, it adds complexity where none is needed.

Some really stupid IoT stuff just for fun

Boy do I love the future…