During the dark days of the Tech Wreck, the poster product for the heady excesses of the Dot Com era was the connected fridge.
Today it could be the iKettle that marks the height of the Internet of Things craze, a kettle you can control from your smartphone.
While the app doesn’t automatically fill the kettle; it does allow you to turn it on, schedule times and control the water temperatures.
The problem though is what happens when your kettle or phone can’t connect to the internet?
Burning data centres
Over the weekend, Samsung customers learned what happens when a connected device can’t connect when a fire in a South Korean data centre triggered an outage that prevented the company’s smart TV, Blu-Ray player and phone customers from properly using their equipment.
It would be really irritating if you couldn’t boil a kettle because your internet was down, however the more serious question is what happens when your home’s smoke detectors can’t connect? Or when your smarthome or connected car can’t authenticate your identity and locks you out?
Securing the IoT supply chain
For industry, the problems are even more pressing; in the not too distant future a truck carrying perishable goods may well have its deliveries refused by a customer if the cargo has lost connectivity.
In life or mission critical applications, relying on connections that may not be dependable could have disastrous consequences.
While the iKettle might be a bit of gimmick, it raises some important issues of what happens should your internet connection go down.
If the Internet of Things is to be trusted by households and industry, it’s essential systems are robust and maintain operations when they’re disconnected.