The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things

Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Google has Google Digital Assistance, Microsoft has Cortana and Samsung has Bixby. Why do I care? I don’t really.

Don’t get me wrong – I have been a technology enthusiast since the 1980s. I love being able to stream a movie or order some esoteric book or tool that I can’t find at my local store. (I still go to the local store as often as possible for fear the local store might not be there some day soon.)

And for communicating with my kids, my parents, my friends and the N-News readership, technology offers quick ways to interact.

The N-News office has multiple computers in it and I couldn’t make this magazine happen without them. In fact, niche magazines like this could not exist without the advent of desktop publishing.

BUT, when it comes to the intimate details of home life, I’m not so sure I want all of the technology that is available.

I recently perused a JC Penney catalog which featured a refrigerator that had four video cameras in it, allowing you to check the contents of the refrigerator from the grocery store. I’ve talked in previous editorials about a front door lock that unlocks when you get close.

There is a whole array of “smart home” devices (locks, thermostats, appliances, light bulbs – even an outdoor electronic smoker) ready to automate every facet of household management. To me, most seem completely unnecessary and maybe downright silly.

Alexa speaker next to laptopThe part that I find most repelling is having some phone /computer/smart speaker listening to what is going on in my kitchen or living room 24/7. I don’t think I am going to (willingly) participate in the “internet of things” revolution that is growing all around us.

Although Siri might be great for dealing with a hands-free phone call while driving, I still think I would prefer my fingers on a keyboard for looking up movies that are playing nearby or remembering what year the 8N was produced.

If I hear that Siri or Alexa can help out with springtime chores like stacking firewood for next winter, planting the snow peas and grading the driveway, that would definitely get my attention.

Until that day, I will stick with my old Ford tractor as a primary tool for managing things on the home front.internet-of-things-cartoon