Back when we posted on the Internet of Things and what it meant for indie authors there was understandable concern about the direction we are heading. (LINK)
Some of you were unconvinced that retailers would be able to gain so much knowledge about our personal lives from a device in our hands.
Surely they only knew what info we gave them when we signed up? And surely that was more than enough?
Enter Sensiya, a company dedicated to letting retailers and advertisers know your every personal detail, courtesy of your smartphone.
Sensiya is dedicated to “real-life behavior tracking”.
What does it mean? It means that Sensiya-partnered retailers will be more powerful than Santa.
Santa knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.
So does Sensiya. They also know whether you’re out jogging, driving, on a train or bus, standing up or sitting down. They know if you are male or female and how old you are.
Sensiya claim to have “a 90 percent accuracy on gender and age.” (LINK)
From nothing more than your smartphone.
Not from the telco you signed up, with or the retailer you bought the phone from. From the smartphone itself.
“Our mobile phone holds significant amounts of data about us like who we are, what apps we use, and how we use them. This data is like a digital fingerprint of each person’s unique personality. Through our technology, Sensiya seeks to enable developers to create individual and personal experiences and allow users to get the content, information, and UI that truly reflects who they are.”
And by monitoring what you use the smartphone for – buying, downloading, news viewing, texting, etc – they can pretty accurately determine your marital status and your income level, and of course they’ll know where you live, when you leave the house, how long for…
No, we’re not making this up. In Sensiya’s own words:
“We know whether you’re at home, when you wake up, when you go to sleep. This is physical context, and when you combine them, you create something that’s personal and engaging.”
Sensiya is not alone. Adtile is doing much the same, utilising GPS, gyroscopes, motion compressors, accelerometers, and a compass to sense body functions.
And yeah, at some stage they’ll even know when you’re taking a dump.
No, this isn’t science fiction. This is science reality. It’s happening right now, and you can be sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re thinking, get rid of the smartphone, think again.
The Internet of Things will enable devices all around you to make these same calculations and they will engage with each other. “Talk to each other” in the technical jargon designed to make it all seem less scary.
Your smartfridge will tell companies like Sensiya when you last had a salad and how much milk you get through. Your smartcoffee-machine will tell them how often you drink coffee and what brand.
Your smart-TV will tell them which programmes you watch live and which you record and watch later. And at what time and with how many people. And how you reacted to them.
Did you laugh or cry when that poor kitten got run over? They’ll know if you’re an animal lover or not. Did you salivate when the chocolate commercial was on? Expect ton of ads on your mobile in the morning.
They will know which ebooks you bought, which you read, and what page you are on. They will know if you read pastel pink romance or hard core erotica, driller-killer gore-fests or cozy mysteries.
And they’ll know at which point your heart raced or the adrenalin kicked in or even… yes, even at which point you may have got sexually aroused.
Which will in turn be used for crime prevention. Google recently was in the headlines for handing over information about a paedophile downloading child porn.
But where does it end? Are you a lone male watching far too many kids programmes with young girls in? Expect a knock at the door.
Downloading bestiality ebooks from Smashwords? How long before some animal rights group pays your home a visit in the middle of the night…
How long before some vigilante group has YOU in its sights because of some perceived slight?
And that’s just the Internet of Things. Beyond the Internet of Things awaits the Internet of Everything.
No, this is all true. The Internet of Everything is not some futuristic dystopian fantasy.
It’s happening right now.
Just this week Europol, Europe’s cyber-policing organization, warned that the Internet of Everything could lead to the world’s first on-line murder.
No, not in some distant decade when we’ll all be long dead anyway.
By the end of this year. (LINK)
And if not this year, then next year. It WILL happen.
For crime thriller writers it’s a whole new world of opportunity.
But of course any of this data, and any of these means to harm, will be available to government agencies to abuse for their own ends, and for tech-minded individuals to abuse just as much as criminal gangs.
George Orwell got the date wrong. Never mind 1984. Try 2014.
And don’t even think about what it will be like by 2084…
The Internet of Everything is at once the most exciting, and the most scary, development in the history of mankind.
If this excites you, join the club. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
But if this doesn’t also scare the shit out of you, you aren’t human.