IoT: Internet of Toothbrushes?

The internet was once a network whose main job was to connect beasts of computers, often by way of a simple dial-up telephone line. Today nearly everyone has a smartphone with incredibly fast wireless internet, and you can even buy fridges and toasters that are ‘online’ 24/7. The internet is no longer a computer network, but a gigantic collection of digitally communicating devices – already numbering some tens of billions worldwide, which together form the Internet of Things (IoT). But how can we keep this system running, and how can we safeguard our privacy and maintain our security in the era of the Internet of Things? And who needs a toothbrush with an IP address anyway?

To start with that last question: Tanir Özçelebi sees very few IoT applications that have any real added value for the user. “Many of the IoT solutions are actually more or less forced onto the users. I would not want to pay for a smart toothbrush. And who does?” Applications of the Internet of Things like these are, believes the Assistant Professor in System Architecture and Networking, of most interest to the manufacturer, who uses and sells the data. “These companies make more money selling data products than selling the device.” Read more