The soon-to-arrive/already here (depending on your point of view) ‘Internet of things’ promises to make our lives much easier and more efficient: fridges that will know when we are running out of milk and will be able to automatically re-order at the right time. And we’ve already seen the birth and positive welcome for Amazon’s Echo and Alexa service, which will undoubtedly prompt an improved response from existing services such as Apple’s Siri. But while all of this will hopefully improve the modern household, it also creates a number of new access points for anyone who wants to break into steal security information. If you are trusting your bank account details to a fridge, for example, it’s going to have to be extremely secure – any breach of security is going to turn people off from further engagement. But while there are potential downsides, there are very interesting possible upsides.
One example is IOT-based Dark Social networks. Let’s say you’ve bought a fridge which is connected to the internet of things. Now let’s say you want are really, really into this fridge, and you’d like to discuss it with someone else. Or perhaps there is a feature of it that you can’t quite fathom. Or you want to talk to customer services at the fridge company about something to do with your new purchase. An IOT-based Dark Social network is something you can access either on the fridge itself, or which beams itself to your device (phone, iPad etc) and brings up an instant, secure chatroom which will allow you to talk specifically about the product or your needs. Ephemeral Dark Social chatrooms which will pop up when you need them and where you need them will be commonplace in ten or twenty years' time. Or possibly even less.