Internet of Things Blows Away CES, and it May Be Hunting for YOU Next

Originally this article’s purpose was to discuss all the exciting happenings surrounding the 2015 International CES “Internet of Things” Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada. After all, of the 3600+ exhibitors, there were fully 900 exhibitors with IoT designation at this most-amazing-of-all trade shows, and 170,000 people came through the turnstiles to see the spectacle!

I began researching all the new technologies that this showcase was presenting; everything from personal gadgets by iDevices, Bosch and Lowes to corporate and government systems by Intel and Samsung. I was blown away by the seemingly endless possibilities the IoT showcase was presenting- from waterproof, Bluetooth speakers and massage chairs (almost old fashioned technology at this point), to the iPassport (for the ultra-paranoid among us), to entire cloud environments. Even snapchat had a shared story for anyone at the CES event. There is, of course, endless good that the IoT can bring to the world at hand, through medical, security and energy-saving improvements. Some of these technologies are mind blowing like ReWalk Robotic’s wearable exoskeleton for those individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries. The IoT is starting to turn anyone and everyone into empowered, capable, real life Avenger-type superheroes with the power to control and manage all aspects of their lives. However, one product is taking this concept to the extreme.

TrackingPoint has developed a Precision-Guided Firearm “capable of making beyond belief shots”. This gun is summarized on the TrackingPoint website as a “comprehensive, purpose-built weapon system. It incorporates the same tracking and fire-control capabilities found in advanced fighter jets. Shooters of any skill level can now shoot better than the best shooters who ever lived”. Further, it “ensures never-before-seen precision at extreme distances and high target velocities” . This is super cool technology, no doubt and can turn the average Joe into the next Eagle Eye, but do you really want this in the hands of the redneck down the road (no knock on rednecks, but come on)? In the right hands it can be an extraordinary tool. But let’s think for a minute about the damage that has been done by unqualified shooters on a mission with inaccurate guns, and what they could do with a gun that will hit their target if that target is running away as fast as they can. I don’t want to get in to the ethics of guns or which gun laws are right, but it is necessary to discuss the implications of a gun this advanced coming into the wrong or unqualified The IoT is revolutionary and hopefully will continue to change the world as we know it. The internet of things is truly the internet of everything. But maybe we should stop and reflect upon which technologies we truly wish to present to the public, and just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Remember, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.

For more information on the 2015 CES showcase: http://www.cesweb.org/News/Press- Releases/CES-Press-Release.aspx?NodeID=bc2c6e17-3991-4897-88ab-114f115dc8b9

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Jennifer Grogan is a web developer and a graduate student at Emory University. Her passion is the nexus of technology and community development virtually, globally and locally. She is also a punk rocker, a vegetarian and a fitness fanatic.