Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Smart" Houses Added to List of Hacker Threats
From top to bottom, it appears that our modern internet-driven world filled with interconnected smart gadgets and modern computing applications is making us vulnerable to potentially life-changing hacks.

As was noted recently, not only are modern cars open to being hacked, but also boats, planes, and GPS-driven munitions and unmanned vehicles. (Source)

So, perhaps you think you'll ditch the modern car, get rid of the smartphone, limit travel and hunker down safe and cozy in your home. Well, unfortunately, if your house is filled with modern appliances and electronics, it could potentially open up a literal nightmare experience.

Smart Meters have arguably garnered the most concern in the housing market, as homeowners have begun voiving their concerns about documented health and privacy issues.

But what if you were awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call, and the person on the line told you they were taking full remote control over your home? Then proved it by turning your lights on and off, starting up the dishwasher, blasting your TV at full volume, and turning up the heat.

Then you hear your garage door opening.

This type of "haunting" scenario was the subject of Kashmir Hill's article writing for Forbes titled,  "When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Complete Stranger's House Via The Internet."

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Switching on the heating, closing the blinds and even controlling what the children are watching on the TV are now becoming easier.

They can all now be controlled using a phone, App or tablet. The Home Automation Market is booming and thanks to smart technology there's no need to have lots of remote controls, they can all be done just using the one device.

Even your coffee can be controlled by tablet or smart phone.

Cornflake is the firm behind the technology, a new App called the Cornflake Concierge allows all the home gizzmos and gadgets to be controlled remotely either inside or outside the home.

"Where the internet comes into your property from then onwards we can control anything, so whether it be your Aga cooker, the top of your swimming pool, your lighting, your heating, your climate control. We can take heat from one area of your house and put it into air conditioning system so you're actually saving energy and saving money. Pretty much anything really that technology can do these days and it can do a lot." said Robin Shepherd, Cornflake's CEO.

Cornflake has built a two-storey town house in central London to show off the very latest in home technology. It cost £1.4 million to build and features a further half a million pounds worth of equipment.

The games room features a revolving dance floor and giant screen hidden behind a electronic wall. Everything - including music, CCTV, heating and cinema is synced to a centralised system which can be hidden in the home.

Owners select which room they want to control from a plan on their tablet or phone.

The home automation market is booming thanks to technology prices coming down and the proliferation of tablets and smart phones acting as interface between technology and consumer.

Last year Europe's Home Automation market earned 223 million euros and it's set to grow by more than 50 percent by 2017. Germany is by far the largest market with a 47 percent share, followed by France with 10 percent and then the UK.

"Technology prices half every 12 months, so within 12 months twice the size of the market can afford the sort of technology we supply today. And of course with the price points coming down it will become just the norm that when you go into people houses they will have the ability to have sound and vision everywhere." said Shephard.

Since the introduction of tablet computers in 2010, the market has changed drastically.

"The Smart Home's really undergone a lot of changes over the last decade. Traditionally we've seen very luxury systems, very high end home automation systems dominating the market and that's still the case now but really we're seeing a shift from that luxury segment much more towards the mass market systems and smart phones and tablets are a lot to do with that," said Elizabeth Mead, market analyst at IHS Electronics & Media.

"I think it might just might be the general uptake in technology in the home. You're seeing much more of the in home network in the mass market and smart phones and tablets are a lot to do with that." she added.

Not every home can afford its own cinema room but as home automation technologies evolve to become smarter, spaces like this may not be only the preserve of the rich and famous.


John Terry said...
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Jimmy Hazard said...
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