A few years ago, living in South Africa, I had a wireless router putt-putting away on a 1Mb broadband connection. (Narrow broadband, I know, but that’s not important right now.) The only things that connected to the router were two laptops – one mine, and another one belonging to the tenant we had in the granny flat. Oh yes – there was a cellphone that occasionally connected, but given that it was a Symbian Nokia, which had the life sucked out of it every time the wifi got turned on, that didn’t happen often.
Move forward a few years, and I still have a wireless router. Now, however, things are slightly more congested. Apart from the desktop computer and a laptop (oh, and that old laptop that still limps on as a Linux test ground), there are a couple of android phones, and a tablet. The TV also connects, as does the PVR. And the printer connects wirelessly to the router as well. Lastly, there’s the Sonos music player, which sets up its own wireless network between the two pieces involved. Not that there’s anything particularly novel about this – if you buy an appliance these days, it’s becoming almost standard that it’s expected to connect up.
Now, I like gadgets as much as the next guy. Or maybe just a little bit more than the next guy. But all this talk of the Internet of Things is starting to get a bit ridiculous. I occasionally picture myself trying to sneak through the house à la Entrapment, trying to dodge the myriad connections.
To prove my point, I got an email from my scale this morning, telling me that its batteries are getting a bit low. I think this may be a turning point…