Soon, we may have a sixth sense. Not the “I see dead people” type, but an advanced technological sense. As an article in Time magazine described, this “digital sixth sense” would involve our smartphones completing different tasks triggered by wireless sensors and radios, or CPU’s, which would deliver information, content, and feedback that could enhance our lifestyle. This falls under the idea of “the internet of things”, which states that any item that can be integrated with a CPU, sensor, or wireless radio can be made into a “smart” item that can deliver data.
Many of the top tech companies like Intel, ARM, Samsung, Apple, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and more think our mobile devices can serve as tools that could interact with our cars, homes, TV’s, and anything else that could be made “smart”. Years ago, the author of the article gave a hypothetical situation in which this technology could be used. A smart refrigerator would scan each item you place in it, realize when you were running out, then send a digital grocery list to a grocery service which would deliver items directly to your house. This is just one of the many ways such technology could be used. Even the possibility of a smart house could become a reality. Sensors could detect when someone walked in, and then automatically turn off the alarm, turn on the lights, and the television. However, before these technological dreams become a reality, the leaders of the technology industry need to work closer together to create better wireless communication standards so devices across multiple platforms can be synced.
How close are we to actually seeing these technological innovations? If companies develop software and devices that can work well together, it could only be 3-5 years away. However, it could take as long as 6-8 years before a sixth sense becomes a reality. But still, that’s under a decade. But how much innovation is too much? While some of these things sound convenient, will this actually make us more lazy as a society than we already are? I don’t know about you, but I actually like doing the little things like making lists and grocery shopping. Hopefully, like all new technology should be, it will be moderated, and helpful rather than problematic.