As I browsed the latest news on Technology Review my attention was caught by an article seeding doubts on the pleasantness of a future Smart Home... Since at the EIT ICT Labs we are working on smart spaces I read on. And the impression I got is that, indeed, our future may get more complicated with some unexpected twists.
It is a given that sooner or later all appliances will end up connected to the web. Some of these appliances will also double up as gateways to connect other objects we have in our home to the web through their image (e.g. a security camera in the living room -assuming I want to have one there- may transmit the image of the living room and that image can be interpreted by an application providing knowledge on a couch a small table, armchairs and a vase with flowers that need some watering...).
These appliances will interact with us, probably more intensively than what they are (rather we are) doing today. And we already have intense interactions with our PC, tablet and so on. The temptation to export the interface of the PC to an appliance might be there but on the other hand do I really want to use a password to select a washing program on the washing machine?
I already have problems remembering the variety of passwords I have to use when buying with my credit card, entering into a protected area at the office, enabling a function on my car control system, buying a movie on my television...
The idea of keying in a password to do the dishes is not appealing to me.
And yet, as more and more appliances will be connected to the web the security issue will pop up. We are being flooded by viruses and this creates a jolly vibrant market for antivirus software, to the point that sometimes I wonder if some virus is not produced by those same companies providing the remedies ;-)
A seamless home, just like the one I used to have twenty years ago would probably look very smart to me!