Internet of Things: A Day in the Life of Penelope Pitstop

About the Internet, everyone has heard and a good part of the world’s population browses millions of pages every second. But what about Internet of Things also known by the acronym: IoT?

What is it? A new Internet? Depends on human interaction? Is affecting or impacting in your daily life without you realizing it?

My goal here isn’t provide details regarding a technical definition for IoT. In a simplified way, the Internet of Things is the communication between all the connected, online or offline, objects that exist. They are sending and receiving data with a countless amount of information, in general, to make our lives easier without necessarily depending on human interaction.

This system establishes connections between the Internet and objects, such as: automobiles, refrigerators, appliances, smart watches, tablets, computers, mobile phones and a lot of other devices. For example, modern aircraft constantly send detailed information to the manufacturer without pilot interaction. Your car probably is doing the same, did you know that?

Oops! What about Penelope Pitstop? Where does she get into this story? Before we follow her on a snapshot on a typical morning for Penelope together the Internet of Things, take a look in your fridge and check if it’s only making ice, keeping milk and beer cold and not sending SPAM e-mails. Do you think I’m kidding? See this headline from a newspaper: Proliferation of connected devices makes hackers invade until refrigerator.

Surprising, isn’t? However, in the matter above, hackers have been able to send over 750,000 SPAM emails using as senders: televisions and even refrigerators without the slightest interaction or control from their owners! US Senator Edward Markey reported that hackers can control the operation of cars (have you ever imagined a car stopping from nowhere without you hitting the brake??), baby monitors, thermostats and various other household appliances. Even modern exercise wristbands provide information that can be used by stalkers.

Penelope, my dear. It’s 7:00 in the morning. Time to wake up! (The song Morning Has Broken starts …)

– Alexa, just another 15 minutes! Meanwhile, play “Mozart for Bedtime

Okay, Penelope. Just a reminder: It will start raining in 15 minutes and my records show heavy traffic on the road. You have 3 urgent messages and received 171 Likes in your new profile picture, congratulations! Your new record!

Penelope Pitstop, when she isn’t participating in the Crazy Race, needs to work hard during the week to sustain her hobby. The brief dialogue between her and a latest gadget, an Amazon Echo, to which she chose ‘Alexa’ as her name, gives us an idea of IoT in practice. The 15 minutes already gone, wake up Penelope!

Penelope gets up and runs to the bathroom. Today she’s late. Meanwhile, Alexa detected the sound of the bathroom’s door opening and at the same time receives Penelope’s heartbeat information through her smartwatch so Alexa shoots a playlist of workout songs to help Penelope, definitely, wake up this morning!

As usual, Penelope steps on the electronic weight balance and looks into the direction of the mirror (which has a webcam connected to the Internet).

– Aw! Today, how awful I’m feeling! All swollen! And my weight? I gained 300 grams! That’s not possible!

Alexa already received data from the weight’s balance, webcam, smartwatch, and many other devices connected to the Internet or via radio frequency including hundreds of Penelope’s contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and from the condo where she lives. Alexa consolidates all the information and connects to Penelope’s smartphone then communicating to her audibly, Alexa says:

Penelope, you made a good progress in the last 30 days! I just received data from your Gym and comparing with your Facebook’s friends you are in an excellent rank’s position!

– Really, Alexa?? That excited me a little bit!

Yes, really! Penelope, don’t forget: I work on real data, I’m not only giving an opinion, but I’m assertive and sincere, so to speak. Anything else?

– I’m thinking. I don’t know if I should ask that question. The question I do every day.

Penelope, based on the data in real time that I got and updating all my records, I suggest to you: don’t ask for such information today.

– Why not, Alexa?” Now, I’m curious! I’ll ask the usual question!

Penelope, I’m here to serve you. Just ask me.

– Okay, Alexa. The everyday question I do is: “Mirror, mirror of mine, is there anyone in this world more beautiful than I?”

Penelope, yes there is. In fact, based on the data that I obtained via Internet of Things, in terms of beauty you occupy the 26th position here in the condominium. Anything else?

– Twenty-sixth place here in the condominium where I live?” It’s not possible! There’s something wrong! What else, Alexa?

Getting out of the condominium and getting data from your neighborhood, the situation gets much worse. In the neighborhood you occupy the 928th position among the two thousand women surveyed. Anything else?

– Alexa, you’re making me feel depressed! Tell me more.

Although in the “Beauty” field your current position is unsatisfactory, I analyzed the “Career” field and you are among the top 3 highest paid executives in your condominium and you’re in the 23th position in the neighborhood. Anything else?

– Well, it’s not so bad. What about the field “Hobby”, how am I performing?

Aw Penelope !! On this field, you’re unbeatable! You’re in the 1st position especially due your constant participation in the Crazy Race during the weekends. And you know what else, Penelope?

– Awesome!!! I’m so happy! What else, Alexa?

In the item “Charm”, you still the number one! Anything else?

– But where did you get this information that I’m the most charming?

Penelope: Internet of Things, Internet of Things! However, the source doesn’t allow full access so I cannot provide more details. By the way, you’re late for your first meeting of the day. Anything else?

– Not for now. I need to finish packing. I’m on my way!

Ready for another day of work as a multinational executive, Penelope gets in the car and as soon as she starts the engines, her mobile receives a WhatsApp’s message: “Penelope, a truck is broken on the highway and the traffic to your workplace is terrible. In addition, the on-board car’s computer reported an issue with the left tire and fuel is almost empty. I suggest you come back to the apartment to start a Video Conference via Skype. If you wish, I can turn on the notebook and send a meeting’s update to the attendees informing the meeting will be remote.

Yes or no? Alexa.

– Yes.

Penelope, anything else?

– Yes, Alexa. What’s in the fridge to the lunch?

Internet of Things or just IoT – more is coming! So fast, faster than Penelope Pitstop racing her fancy car in the Crazy Race!

Thus, don’t be surprised if suddenly one of your mobile devices asks:  – Anything else?

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