And alternately, how “smart” do you really want your home to be?
The commercials have been airing for awhile now: you can protect your home with a smart CCTV camera system that includes full streaming, night vision, two-way talk back, and digital zoom for only $150. You can even add on the optional cloud recording to access stored footage of your home for up to a month (all encrypted for your security, of course).
Now news has surfaced that Google’s “Nest” division, which involves smart thermostats that program themselves and can be remotely controlled to change your home’s temperature over the Internet from anywhere, is looking to move into home security with plans to purchase home CCTV system-maker Dropcam.
“With a Dropcam Wi-Fi video monitoring camera and optional cloud recording service you can remotely drop in on your house, baby, pets, business, or anything else from a smartphone, tablet, or computer,” the firm says. (source)
Check out the video. Dropcam’s CEO says they built it to answer a really simple question: “What goes on at home when I’m not there?”
Guess it depends who is asking the question. Google’s plans ultimately involve, according to Mail Online, total home automation.
Apparently this comes just as Apple is planning to unveil its own home automation app that would tie everything together:
An Apple patent published in November last year gave the first hints of the system, showing a system that automatically turned on lights when a user comes home.
It is believed the firm is already working with home automation firms to ensure their gadgets work with the app.
The firm already sells home automation gadgets in its stores, including including arch rival Google’s Nest thermostats, Dropcam wireless cameras, Philips Hue lightbulbs and Belkin WeMo switches. [SIC] (source)
That means you and your house will be constantly creating bits of data that form a blueprint of your daily life: how much electricity and water you use and when you use it, on top of a camera that video tapes you using it.
And what of privacy?
And if you can “drop in” on your house, you have to wonder, who else can drop in, too?
After all, it was just last month that a hacker tapped into a couple’s app-controlled baby monitor, and they awoke to a strange man operating the camera and screaming at their baby in the middle of the night from inside their home.
Beyond that, we live in a world where the so-called National Security Agency’s habit of spying on Americans through major telecommunications companies like Google and Apple has been fully exposed now. It’s not even a question of if they do it anymore. They are openly doing it. Period.
Why else would they need to build a $3 billion data hub in the Utah desert?
(On a side note, it’s pretty interesting that out of three American cities that Google chose to first launch it’s Fiber super high speed internet, one of them is Provo, Utah…a choice that hardly makes sense in lieu of larger cities until you consider Provo is just 30 minutes away from the aforementioned NSA spy hub.)
In addition to apps that track your house, Apple is also set to unveil an app that tracks…you:
Called Healthbook, the new app is expected to be unveiled in June at Apple’s annual developer conference. It offers everything from food and sleep tracking to blood sugar level analysis – and can even tell how much water you’ve drunk. (source)
Check out the control panel that comes with your trendy new “health-tracking wristband” iWatch:
We now live in such a fear-based technocratic society, we are literally paying to give up liberty for security.
Pretty soon, your smart phone/smart pad/smart watch/computer (and anyone with access to it) will know everything about you, your home, your habits, and basically your whole entire life. The concept of privacy is quickly going out the virtual window.
The human race is about to get sucked up into the Internet of Things — “a global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric.”
Are you ready?