Hewlett-Packard (HP) has released a study about the Internet of Things that examined 10 different smart devices, including webcams, smart TVs and thermostats to see if they were vulnerable to standard software hacking methods. Well, they were. Each object had roughly 25 vulnerabilities according to HP.
8 out of the 10 devices in the study did not require any sort of password to protect the information they gather, which puts users at great risk of having their personal information intercepted and saved via cloud services. Since IoT smart devices are becoming more and more common, it is predicted that by the year 2020, over 25 billion smart devices will be available out on the market. Each manufacturer of these objects must take security extremely seriously going forward, as a lack of privacy is something that can easily dissuade consumers from purchasing products.
Information such as name, address, date of birth, health information and credit card numbers are collected by these devices and applications, meaning that identity theft or any other harmful use of this information is something to be concerned about moving forward.
HP made a couple of suggestions towards the manufacturers of smart devices, including:
- Conduct a security review of your device and all associated components.
- Implement security standards that all devices must meet before production.
- Ensure security is a consideration throughout the product lifecycle.
If you’re interested in reading the full study, please follow this link:
We’ve touched on numerous wearable objects that are becoming an integral part of the internet of things, but this next smart object profile is a bit different: it’s not necessarily a wearable…but instead it’s a thinkable.
In so many of our lives, stress is constantly coming our way. Work, school, relationships, etc. all take their emotional toll on our brains, so stress management is key. Of course there are numerous stress relief strategies, including exercise and social interaction. This smart object, however, focuses on meditation as a primary stress reliever.
The Muse, a new wearable technology developed by InteraXon is a headband that uses 7 finely calibrated sensors to detect and measure the activity of your brain. All of your brain activity is then translated into real-time feedback on your tablet or smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. You are then provided with an audiovisual experience that assists you in calming down and managing your stress.
Who would have ever thought that a simple looking headband would have the ability to analyze your brainwaves and then reduce your stress in only three minutes?! The only unfortunate aspect of this wearable technology is its steep price tag, but surely the cost will come down just as all other technologies do.
This type of technology can be a bit scary, though. If a $300 piece of wearable technology is able to figure out how to affect your mood, soon enough there may be some worrisome marketing or privacy implications in our future. Companies could somehow integrate branding into a stress management program, or mental health professionals could possibly use this as a way to learn more about their patients.
Take a look at this video about the Muse Headband:
For most of us, family consists of people who are closest to us: our parents, siblings and grandparents, etc. But how about a robot “who” can laugh, talk or socialize with you? It might sound a little bit futuristic and almost like a scene from the sci-fi movies. It is not anymore after you see the following youtube video about Jibo, the world’s first family robot.
Only 11 Inch tall with a round screen interface that can display simple emotions, Jibo is capable of interacting with you in a more personalized way such as greeting you when you come back home; having conversations with you while you are doing house chores. Jibo is the leader of one of the latest trends, social robot: robots that treat you as human and interact with you in a most humanized way.
The launch of Jibo sparks interests but also raised a lot of concerns people have for highly humanized intelligent robot. Non nevertheless, we have a glimpse of what the future might be with human and humanized robots living under the same roof through Jibo.
A smart wristband called Vive might be your new drinking buddy. Vive was displayed at Microsoft’s Design Expo and its simple bracelet design looks somewhat similar to Fitbit. The way this bracelet works is it helps your friends monitor your intoxication and dehydration level.
Users would be able to sync their social media accounts to Vive. Whenever you are at events which potentially involved drinking, you could digitally link your Vive wristbands with your friends’ wristbands by creating a specific party title for the occassion. This is how Vive works:
Once digitally connected, the Vive bracelet will vibrate every so often to let you know that your friends are doing well and vice versa. A squeeze to the Vive band will let it know that your friends are safe and enjoying themselves. However, the wristband will alert others that you are unconscious or unable to respond if it detects no answer from you. Here’s a little clip of how Vive bracelets are being used in real life:
What do you think about Vive? Since Vive cannot detect its particular users, can users privacy and information be easily exploited? Let us know in the comments below.