Imagine the world where with just a keystroke or a single key press everything can be done simultaneously, while you seat and do things you actually love doing. Right, imagination is not necessary because it has become a reality. And no, this is not necessarily a bad thing where you think technology nurture your lazy habits. This only means efficiency in performing our day to day activities.
Now, imagine the world where we enjoy high-speed broadband and Internet connection. There goes the frown and look of frustration. As fast as the technologies’ upgrades and updates, Internet and broadband have a lot of catching up for us to truly enjoy our Internet-ready gadgets.
An important question to ponder: Can we enjoy these the products of the human mind with the slow Internet?
In a 2015 report (from a not so distant past), Britain’s Prime Minister says that increased broadband speed will become a legal right for Britain's constituents. Why not when almost all of the things we own, personally and in households are powered by the Internet or are internet-enabled technology, right?
However, according to Will Hutton, if you’re located in London area with a regular broadband connection, you’re running at 2MBit/s-- a very slow connection for your high definition TV requiring 30MBits. There is a far disparity between what we have and what we actually need.
What does this mean for us digital natives? Let me show you some advantages we can enjoy, but thwarted by poor broadband and Internet speed:
Last Christmas you finally bought yourself an Internet TV or streaming box, Apple TV or Roku 3 at that. You selected these brands because of their good functionality and regular updates. This is thinking you might enjoy Internet TV features or providers like HBO Go, Netflix, WatchESPN, and HuluPlus among many others. You jump in happiness knowing that Sherlock Season 4 has been released and the Game of Thrones is coming in a few months. You can even switch from movies to music to video gaming and other media with these technologies. This only means efficiency in performing our day to day activities.
Yes, this is entertainment and leisure at its finest. Your regular television doubling and even multiplying the things regular TVs can do. There is no wonder why people like you are urged to buy and ride with the wagon that is Internet TV.
However, a complementary technology needed to operate these gadgets is, of course, the Internet. For faster downloading and high-definition streaming, you need to have strong and fast broadband connection. You ask why? This is because, with high-speed Internet and broadband, images loads faster and becomes clearer. Now, you get to enjoy amazing visuals from your box and your screen. Logically, video streaming has the same requirements. Fast connection equals less waiting time for the videos to load. You can now say goodbye to minute by minute pausing of videos for it to load and the buffering symbol that just ruins your movie night binging.
We cannot deny how our technology creates a cocoon of comfort we willingly climb and curl ourselves in. Let me say it again that this does not equate becoming sluggish and refuses to get just up. It only means that it gives more time for us to do other tasks while comforting us in the best possible way. But, how can we achieve comfort when we are hindered by bad broadband connection?
We can now say that regular plug coffee makers and thermostats are things of the past as we welcome smart coffee machines and Nest thermostats. The smart coffee makers, although met with not very good reviews, is still a very useful innovation for people on the go like you and me. Done with the use of mobile phones, this technology of comfort is not as very complicated. You’ll have a steaming mug of your favourite morning concoction right when you need them with less hassle of kitchen activities. It will allow you to manipulate beans grounding, strength and the number cups you need to give the pick-me-up needed for the morning rush.
What you need is a downloaded application available from Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Not a problem because it’s easy and very doable. We’ve got an issue with the second requirement as you need a Wi-Fi. For you to run the phone application, Internet connection is a must. Consequently, you will need a faster one to get that smart machine grinding your morning coffee or risk being late. The horror!
Another household technology that has been gaining attention is Nest thermostat. It works like your old home thermostat but with a promise of higher energy savings and remote control capabilities. Nest prides itself on having a smart thermostat with auto turn-off system when nobody is at home. But a far more interesting feature is its Wi-Fi enabled remote control that allows control from your devices. You can take a pick from your mobile phone, pad or tablet, and even your laptop.
Add to the growing list of a smart home appliance is the Samsung Smart Fridge. Hear (or in your case read) this, Samsung says that it takes photos of what’s inside the fridge that you can access from your phones to see what’s missing from your grocery shopping list. You don’t have to worry about forgetting eggs or milk because with one click of that intelligent kitchen beast, you’ll see what you need from the grocery store. That fast and that efficient!
Of course, you will need a good broadband connection in order to realise the value of these home technologies. How can you access the images taken by your fridge or how can you turn off or lower or increase your thermostat if it takes so much time for these technologies to connect to online or your phone? The slow broadband speed defeats the purpose of having all these things. We can have the best lifestyle only we don’t let it slip away by our bad connection.
By now you’ve heard of Siri, Cortana and the from Amazon’s very own, Amazon Alexa. These personalities’ have are the popular, intelligent personal assistant that comes with mobile technology such as phone and tablets. If you’ve seen Amazon Echo’s UK commercial, you’ll be amazed by how efficient Alexa can be from asking how many teaspoons in a tablespoon to creating your grocery list, managing your schedule, your playlist and even the control of your devices.
Other artificial intelligence (AI) as personal assistants performs similar functions. If you’re like the Dad from the video commercial, it is very useful when need to do something like adding an item to your grocery when your hands are full. Apply that to your work, you can use Siri, Cortana or Alexa to jot down important notes and perform specific tasks while you are busy working with something else.
Lucky are the students of today because these assistants are available right at their fingertips. Research has never been easy simply by asking them to search for you while you type your thoughts away. See how convenient pulling an all-nighter can be. Maybe next time, you can ask Alexa or Cortana or Siri to order pizza for a while you labour your way to a high score for that paper.
All these fancy magic is obtainable as easy as a flick of a wand if you’re connected to a fast broadband. These personal assistants do not do well without the Internet. They cannot hear and recognise your voice commands without it. Sometimes, while you spout off commands, Siri complains about not having a connection and should try some other time. Even with the Wi-Fi or data connection on, Siri does not work if there is slow or not enough connection to hear you.
Say the AI retrieved the data you need online. With the slow Internet, the page you’re trying to access will also take time to load completely and sometimes even crashing. I’m sure you’ve experienced that at times. Now you have to repeat the process again, taking away your work time. An all nighter you wish to end sooner might just get you that failing grade or scolding from your boss for tardiness. Can you imagine the frustration when you are in a hurry and will need to repeat what you’ve just said?
The intelligence of your phones’ and mobile gadgets’ personal assistants is relative to the fastness and slowness of your broadband. This leads you to think that they may not be as smart as they are portrayed on the commercial. They become as useless feature making smartphones not very intelligent at all.
As we call ourselves digital natives and belonging in the Information Age, we also see the improvements we have on our security both at the community and household levels with an Internet-enabled camera. CCTV cameras or closed-circuit television is a known technology used to secure homes and business establishments.
These technologies are even more improved when they are connected to the Internet or broadband system. You can monitor the events at home while you work in your office of course in real time and not just a mere video recording. Try to picture a situation where you left your child at home with a nanny. With an Internet-connected home camera, you will have access to them right from your office. A very helpful tool for emergencies and preventing further dangers for your child and home.
If this applies to the home, much more in offices. Sometimes offices do not have security personnel available. The best remedy for this is affordable security cameras to record events happening from the office and increasing the chances of securing the place.
You ask how this will work? You may be used to video transmission through a physical cable connection. But with Internet-ready cameras, videos are transferred through a wireless technology via the Internet. So if you’ve got a poor broadband network it will disallow you to cater to the Internet connection requirement of the device. Like all other video files, this streaming will be difficult. Some Internet security cameras also give users the control over the device from their mobile phones or laptops. It will allow the remote control to tilt and change camera views. You can now have wider and multiple views.
A new Internet-enabled technology of importance that needs a connection to an Internet or broadband. Some cameras will need not just an Internet connection, but a high-speed network as well, otherwise it would not work. This increases the ability to secure homes and family.
This goes to show that good connection is of utmost importance if want to take care of those dearest or important to you. It is not enough that we have a connection or ready network, it must be of optimum speed to ensure its usability. Isn’t that right?
The answer is quite simple-- to get the best of our technologies. They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions (I’m sure you’ve all heard this somewhere at some point), that is the reason why technologists and innovators continue to create devices that will make life easier, convenient, efficient and comfortable for all of us.
The greatest inventions and innovations of man are easily available not solely to rich and big corporations but to individuals and families too. It is just disheartening for us that we cannot take advantage of the wonders, comfort, efficiency and convenience of our technology because of very slow and unreliable broadband connection.
I cannot stress any further good features and advantages we can get from all these technologies just waiting for us to be used. We lose so much because we tolerate and be content with the kind of network we have. This while receiving high-paying bills right under our doorstep. We are not getting the value of our money with everything that we own if this continues to be our norm.