4 Things Important to Know About Smart-Connected Products

4 Things Important to Know About Smart-Connected Products

Chances are pretty good that you have at least one or two smart-connected products in your home. Thanks to global networking and the Internet of Things, these products are becoming ever more commonplace. It is hard to imagine a world five or 10 years down the road in which any product is not smart and connected.

California-based Rock West Solutions says that while the smart-connected product concept is a good one, it does have its own inherent weaknesses. One is security. Another is the inevitable invasion of privacy that comes with interconnection. But brilliant minds are likely to overcome these weaknesses as the smart and connected paradigm continues to expand.

If you are not familiar with smart-connected products, you should be. They are the future. Here are four important things to know:

1. What They Are

First, you need to know what smart-connected products are if you are to fully understand how they impact your life. A smart-connected product, also known as a ‘smart object’ or ‘smart connected thing’, is any product or asset with built-in processors and sensors and the capability to exchange collected data through software and connectivity.

In simple terms, a smart-connected product monitors specific parameters and then connects to the internet or other devices to report the collected data. Your refrigerator is a smart-connected product if it can automatically create a shopping list and send it to your smartphone. If your car has on-board capabilities for self-reporting maintenance and diagnostic issues, it is also a smart-connected product.

2. The Sensors They Use

Smart connected products are only as smart as the sensors found on board. The beauty of sensors is that they can be custom designed to monitor just about anything. For example, a home security system can utilize a sensor that is located in the basement to determine if heavy rains have introduced floodwaters into a home.

In this regard, Rock West Solutions says the key is building the right kinds of sensors to collect the right kinds of information. In essence, the smarter the sensors, the smarter the product.

3. How They Communicate

Next is knowing how smart-connected devices actually communicate. There are a lot of options here. RFID is one such option, and it is quite popular thanks to its affordability, scalability, and reliability. RFID signals can be found everywhere, from airports to amusement parks.

Wi-fi and Bluetooth are both options for connecting devices without needing a WAN or LAN. Of course, wi-fi can also be used to facilitate remote communications via the internet.

4. Their Relative Security

Last but not least is the security of smart-connected devices. This is arguably the most important of the four things given how vulnerable we all are to data breaches. It is extremely important for everyone who embraces smart connectivity to understand its inherent security risks.

There is no system of connectivity that is 100% secure against cyber threats. And by the way, there never will be. Every bit of new technology we introduce is yet another opportunity for hackers to do what they do. We will never be completely secure no matter how hard we try.

The point here is to say that owners of smart-connected products need to be aware of their relative security risks and take whatever steps are available to mitigate those risks. They need to make it as hard as humanly possible for hackers to do what they do.

Smart-connected products are the future. Perhaps now is a good time to familiarize yourself with them. You may already have a few in your own home.

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