I’m a mechanical engineering professor at MIT, and 17 years ago, with my colleagues David Brock, Kevin Ashton and Sunny Siu, I helped launch the research effort that laid some of the groundwork for the Internet of Things. As you might imagine, my life is pretty connected.
A few years ago, before the Nest thermostat, a friend and I wired my house to make it easily controllable. Within a few months, we had dozens of switches, motion sensors and thermostats, all on a network running through wireless routers and the power lines within the house. I had a computer controlling lights and turning them on and off when we traveled, to make the house look occupied, and complex heating schedules in the winter that anticipated the habits of the family. The next step was going to be connecting my home to the Internet.
And then I killed the project.
I realized that anyone could plug into the outlet on my deck and take control of my house..