Granted the word “cult” can have a negative connotation, especially when applied to small religious groups but cult can also mean a great devotion to a movement or intellectual fad. Some people call Apple a cult with Apple Stores being their Churches. If you look at the lines around the block or down the mall for new product releases the term cult can certainly come to mind. And that brings me to the cult of IoT and wearables.
For me IoT first started with exercise equipment. My sports buddy and I bought rowing machines for our homes to stay fit in our golden years. He wanted to get the internet equipped models so we can compete with each other. Given our past sporting competitive nature I thought this was a horrible idea. Not that I was afraid of losing, I would not, I was afraid one of us would have a full blown heart attack. So yes, I row 2-3 times a week while I watch Netflix and I can tell you this, if you watch all four seasons of Spartacus while rowing you will in fact look like a gladiator, but I digress…
Next it was exercise bracelets. My buddy and I walk dogs 6 miles on the Iron Horse trail 2-3 times a week. According to him it is just over 10,000 steps which is the default daily FitBit goal. Again, he wanted me to buy one so we can “compete” but I passed. For me this whole FitBiter thing is too cult-like. I have seen people walking in circles just to meet their goal because they have friends and/or family “watching” them. Putting your FitBit on your dog at the dog park to make your daily quota? Really? FitBit “confessions” are all over the internet and some are quite funny. One guy said his wife refuses to have sex if he has his FitBit on so they stopped having sex. I seriously hope this is a joke, but probably not.
I’m not a smartwatch person either because I don’t wear a watch. I was however tempted to get an iWatch with all of the hoopla that came with it. But I regained my senses when I actually tried one on and got a demo at my local Apple Church. The ROI for wrist IoT is just not there for me personally, yet.
Then it was WiFi enabled scales or “smart weight analyzers” as they are marketed. They not only track you your weight, body mass index, and heart rate (through your feet), they can share that data with your doctor, wife, refrigerator, and next door neighbor (who hacked your WiFi). No thank you.
The only IoT application I’m fully vested in thus far is home security. Let’s face it, if someone wants to break into your home they will break into your home no matter how many dogs or guns you have. So get the security cams up as a deterrent and make sure you get clear pictures to help with identification if someone does break in, absolutely.
You can start with the doorbell cam which is a great piece of technology. For less than $200 you can answer your door from Starbucks. They are WiFi based and sync your doorbell with your smartphone. You can get alerts, live video feed, and voice communications from iOS or Android phones and tablets. The nice ones have motion sensors so you don’t even need to ring the doorbell and they operate with a minimum amount of light. Smoke detectors are also WiFi enabled now so that is next for me. I will not however share my home security video with other people, except for my neighbor who hacked my WiFi of course.