The age of interconnected devices and gadgets is slowly dawning. This category of communications-capable electronics has been labeled “the Internet of Things” – somewhat of a misnomer now-a-days when it is obvious that the security threat of any machine reachable from the Internet is enormous. Perhaps quantum cryptography will one day address this issue. Until then, home owners will probably be safer by using offline “smart home controllers” with manually-upgradeable firmware in what will be an Intranet of Things.
Irrespective of the name, this new wave of electronics is still barely in its infancy. Any company worth its salt has to prepare for how business will change in the coming decades. And there’s nothing more disruptive than what is basically the rise of the first mainstream generation of highly task-optimized robots. Indeed, a smart refrigerator is basically a robot focused on a certain task.
While the first robots accessible to everybody will still function very much like our current appliances, their smarts will open up a myriad opportunities for ground-breaking innovation.