What the IoT is all about with Stacey Higginbotham


Richard Bennett talks with The Internet of Things Podcast Host, Stacey Higginbothamstaceyh

In this High Tech Forum podcast edition, Stacey Higginbotham (@gigastacey) joins Richard Bennett (@iPolicy) to talk about what the Internet of Things (IoT) means for the present and future of communications and information technology.

Higginbotham is the creator of The Internet of Things Podcast and authors a weekly Internet of Things newsletter. She has spent the last 15 years covering technology and finance for publications such as Fortune, Gigaom, The Deal, The Bond Buyer, BusinessWeek, and Time.

Stacey tells Richard that IoT is “Access to cheap data that will give you real-time insights…IoT is much more of an economic shift. It isn’t just a bunch of sensors—it’s access to data.”  So the impact of the IoT is at least as much about data, privacy, and security as it is about convenience and gee-whiz gizmos.

By way of explaining IoT, Stacey describes her smart home in Austin, Texas – covering everything from how she can control her lights and temperature with her voice to her connected locks. Richard and Stacey agree that the Amazon Echo may be the top IoT interface on the market today- Stacey notes that the best way to control lights is with a smart light switch and the Echo. They note that smart home IoT lacks some meaningful standards, that devices don’t interoperate well, and devices often suffer from reliability and security issues. She also talks about her favorite Wi-Fi thermostat, connected fan and more.

What we expect from the smart home today is far more than the smart home can deliver,” Stacey says on the shortcomings of the system. However, they agree that the IoT ecosystem is improving.

Both Richard and Stacey have smart homes and use connected cars – Stacey recently purchased a 2014 Tesla and she talks about the integration between her calendar and the navigation system; Richard has a Subaru and he talks about how he uses the interface of Siri with his car to help with digital navigation and calendar integration.

The cheap data made available by the IoT raises privacy issues that will either impair its development or stimulate it, depending on how good our privacy policy is. In the current state of affairs – vague regulation from Congress and inconsistent application across industries – consumers get the short end of the stick.

Make sure to listen to the full podcast to learn more, especially if you are interested in converting your home to a smart home or in the barriers to the IoT