Big Data is coming to a room near you. In fact, it could well be the very room you are sitting in at the moment.
The 'connected home' is the next frontier for Big Data, and with ever more sophisticated devices and faster broadband, the day may not be far away that our lives are significantly impacted by the analytical firepower of the Internet of Things.
Home security, energy management, domestic chores, entertainment and even health monitoring will be amongst the activities, which will be seamlessly integrated into our lives (whether we like it, or not). A vast network of inter-connected 'smart' devices will share information in the background – your smart watch will inform your partner of your estimated arrival time, your bath will start running at exactly the right moment and at the right temperature, and your smart plates will calculate exactly what food is on them and how many calories you will be consuming. You get the idea.
There are some potentially serious issues with privacy here. If you find it disconcerting that your every move on the internet can be tracked, imagine the consequences of your home life being dissected. If the bathroom scales tip over a certain point, you could get a call from the local weight loss class. Current employers could track your sleeping habits, so no more late night box set binges that would be detrimental to your performance and utterly irresponsible. On a more sinister note, if organised crime got into 'home hacking', how easy would it be to turn all these devices against you?
When something happens at the click of a button, there is always a minute danger of malfunction or meddling. At least, when you lock your door behind you, you know that there is a physical barrier to entry. If people can hack the Pentagon (it happened), then what is stopping someone from hacking your home?
All these questions are deeply disturbing, and they will certainly make people pause before adopting this technology en masse. The home is your personal space where you can escape the worries of the outside world. If you let the outside world in, where then is your psychological refuge?
How do you think a more analytical approach could benefit your home life. What would your gadgets say if they could 'talk'? How could they make your lives more fulfilling? These sorts of questions will come into the public space sooner than we realize.
As with everything, when the benefits outweigh the risks, the adoption curve will accelerate. I would argue that the tech isn’t quite up to the task at the moment, but in a few years time, the 'connected home' is inevitable.
How would you then feel if your fridge locks you out because your scales and wearables have sounded the warning signs?