Our Connected Everything Lifestyle will soon need a Digital Butler

by Matt Klassen on October 29, 2014

As the ever-expanding Internet of Things continues to fill our lives up with connected gadgets—with every piece of technology we ever owned now capable of updating us on even the most mundane minutia—we are once again going to encounter the extant problem of the digital age: information overload.

In fact it won’t be long until we’re overwhelmed by the constant neediness of our connected everything existence, continually hounded by our heating system desperate for a filter change, our kids’ nightlight that just told us the fire alarm may be going, a smart toilet that informs us we need to eat more fibre, and a refrigerator that simply needs to let us know we’re out of milk.

What we really to sort out the Internet of Things is a little help, and there’s nothing better to help us sort out of the nattering of a thousand technological gadgets than, well, some more technology. To that end the next great advancement in the Internet of Things will likely not be yet another connected gadget, but instead a hub to help us sort everything out; a digital butler of sorts.

As it stands many of the gadgets subsumed under the Internet of Things are still largely a novelty. Sure it might be nice to have a nightlight that sends you a message when it ‘hears’ the smoke alarm or a fridge that tells you when you’re out of milk, but such things really aren’t necessary yet and have yet to see mass adoption.

But there will come a day when such connected devices become the norm, meaning people will be almost forced into adopting a connected everything lifestyle, and its then that most of us will realize, as generations have realized before, that technological development doesn’t always make our lives easier, and paradoxically often makes things far more difficult, bombarding us with a flood of information the likes of which we’ve never seen.

So it is with the Internet of Things, meaning what we’ll need to sort out the needs our of various gadgets is a central hub, a butler of sorts, one who manages the everyday operation of our digital lifestyle without needing to bother us with all the mundane details.

“You’re going to need a hub to do something with all the information from the devices with sensors in your home. You’re going to need a digital butler,” said Roger L. Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

“You don’t want all these signals coming to you. Once the Internet of Things starts chatting away, you can have this cacophony of little voices talking to you all the time,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Rather than have that, you have them talk to your butler,” Kay suggested, “and the butler decides what’s important and how to deal with it.”

While technology companies are aware of this issue, there are few offerings that really meet the needs of today’s Internet of Things, as what we need is a smart butler, a cross between the Jetson’s robot maid Rosie and a central computer like 2001: A Space Odyssey’s friendly Hal, a calming robotic voice that tells us what’s what, cleans up our digital messes, gives us updates on the things it deems important and, when necessary, controls our lives for the betterment of all…wait, what was that last part?

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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