Marc Gilbert got a horrible surprise from a stranger on his 34th birthday in August. After the celebration had died down, the Houston resident heard an unfamiliar voice coming from his daughter’s room; the person was telling his sleeping 2-year-old, “Wake up, you little slut.” When Gilbert rushed in, he discovered the voice was coming from his baby monitor and that whoever had taken control of it was also able to manipulate the camera. Gilbert immediately unplugged the monitor but not before the hacker had a chance to call him a moron.
We live in an age where household objects can now intelligently communicate with each other via wireless protocols.
Ever heard of the ‘programmable world’? Maybe not. The phrase, as far as I know, was coined by a US Wired journalist, Bill Wasik, in an article earlier this year.
Put simply, the programmable world is one where physical objects – lights, coffee pots, garage doors, AC units, alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and sensors – humidity, temperature, motion, etc – talk to one another via wireless protocols to make those physical objects ‘intelligent’.
Others have called the phenomenon the Internet of Things, the Internet of Everything or the Industrial Internet (inappropriate, according to Wasik, because most of the devices aren’t actually on ‘the internet’) or the Sensor Revolution (inappropriate because it ignores the devices themselves).
Broadcom has become a big name in consumer electronics and networking chips. But now the multibillion-dollar Irvine, Calif.-based chip design firm sees an even bigger opportunity in the market of silicon chips for wearable computing devices. The market for connected, wearable electronics is expected to hit $1.5 billion by 2014. And the company’s WICED Direct platform brings Internet connectivity to all sorts of previously unconnected appliances and wearable devices.