internet of things

Ignore the hype, who do you trust in your smart home?

By Oliver Smith 23 February 2016
Nest Thermostat
Summary

From smart fridges to connected kettles, the internet of things is heating up, but can you trust these devices...

In the next few years internet-connected devices are going to spread throughout your home, whether you like it or not.

From Google’s Nest thermostat, which learns your daily habits and heats your home accordingly, to Philip’s range of connected Hue lights.

Read more: Build your own smart home with the Philips Hue Go

These devices, like Nest, gather a huge amount of data about your home, everyday movement and life, and use this to make intelligent decisions.

But while these products are available to buy today, neither are making much money.

According to the marketing boss of Arm Holdings, the reason for this is that no company has convinced us to trust them with our most personal data.

Read more: Arm – 25 years as Britain’s most innovative company

“Business models will have to change and adapt,” Ian Drew, chief marketing officer of Arm which designs the processors that power most of the world’s smartphones, told The Memo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“The ‘services for your personal data’ business model is standard in smartphones, but I’m not sure how that plays out in internet of things.”

With wifi-enabled Barbie Dolls and kids tablets from VTech being hacked to expose personal details of millions of children on an almost weekly basis, it’s not surprising that we’re becoming more cautious about letting these devices into our lives.

The real question of which smart devices will be successful and widely adopted in the coming years, says Drew, instead comes down to a question of who would you trust with this personal data about your life.

“It could be Google, could be Facebook, could be Baidu, but it’ll come down to trust. Which companies do you really trust? If you were to give away your data.”

With Apple going to war with the FBI in defence of its users privacy the iPhone giant certainly has a better leg to stand on, when it comes to “internet of things”, than Google’s more questionable business model of selling its user’s data to advertisers.