“Honey, I’m Home. What’re ya up to?” “I’m just finishing up a chat. You know that smoothie I made last night that you made fun of? The one with spinach, flax seeds, ginseng, and coconut oil? It seems you were wrong. The Cuisinart juicer sent me an opt-in to a chat with other users who tried exactly the same ingredients and over half the group went to the same grocery. Cuisinart sent us a recipe eBook of similar smoothies and the store sent us discount coupons. I’ll be right with you. I want to copy and paste this recipe one of the chatters shared. How was your day?”

“It went well. I shaved eight minutes off my commute home. I synced my smartphone to the traffic lights and cameras and followed the suggested itinerary. I only had to stop at two lights, and that was only for a moment. But the best news is the team monitoring my blood sugar sent a message that it was under control. They’ve tracked my calorie intake and exercise, and I’ve adjusted both to their recommendations. So tonight I can eat anything I want!”

“Congratulations dear, I know you’ve worked hard at it. What do you want for dinner?”

“You know me, I hate wasting food what does the fridge say needs used?”

Sound like Science Fiction?

It’s not. It’s just around the corner. The IoT (Internet of Things) will change how we interact, develop communities, and consume products and services. It will also redefine privacy. When what you eat, where you are, and your heart rate are available to the world, what will privacy mean? Privacy will be defined by who you chose to interact with, and to what level. Although your most private and personal information will be available, it will, in large part, be up to you to decide how it’s used. Social media isn’t advertising, it’s not promotion, it’s attraction. For example, in the scenario above the juicing spouse may decide to visit the Cuisinart chat room, accept the recipes, and use the grocery coupons, or decide to ignore it, even block it. The information remains on the interwebs, but what actions are taken will be largely up to the individual.

How will this change things?

Obviously,  it changes how we define privacy. And it will change how we build communities, even if those communities are temporary. It will be easier to identify individuals and companies that are like-minded and fit our needs. Take the example of medical. With smart devices used to monitor health status, information can be shared real time with teams of the most qualified health care providers—improving health care and the quality of life. Twenty years from now it may be that the only time a patient enters a health care facility is for a procedure.

The Internet of Things is the Internet for People

The IoT will allow folks to monitor their health, find the best commute home, and share information with like-minded people. It will predict our needs and share our wants. And it will do this at the speed of light. Just like earlier life altering innovations, IoT will have pros and cons. Privacy will be redefined but interconnectedness will move forward to levels beyond our wildest dreams. Are you ready? It’s almost here.