Plugging everyday items onto the Internet is expected to be an expanding trend at this year’s CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, which opens Tuesday in Las Vegas.
“Things like your toothbrush or your door locks or other objects around your workplace or home” are all getting censors and being plugged onto the Internet, says Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association which puts on CES. DuBravac says last year was a turning point in this trend, known as “The Internet of Things.” And this year, he says, there are more such objects than ever.
“For example, Adidas has a connected soccer ball … and will measure your kick,” DuBravac says. “How high it was, how fast it’s rotating.” Such a service can connect to a smartphone app, allowing athletes and amateurs to improve their form, he says.
But with more censors in everyday objects come more data collected about our everyday actions.
“Obviously there are privacy and security risks,” says Adam Thierer, a technology policy researcher at George Mason University.
Thierer says consumers need to be more aware of who is collecting what information, and they need to become more vigilant about passwords and data protection. But Thierer says companies need to do their part, too, but adopting best practices “to make sure that these new technologies are as secure as possible and safeguard our information, and do not share it too freely or openly.”
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