By definition, The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects accessed through the Internet, as defined by technology analysts and visionaries. These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.

You're not alone if that definition still has you asking the question, "What is The Internet of Things?"

While Gartner is busy predicting the IoT will tie together approximately 26 billion units by 2020, and IoT product and service suppliers will generate more than $300 billion in incremental revenue by that same year, most of the public is unaware this ecosystem is even emerging.

When responding to a recent Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) survey, less than six percent of those surveyed responded "yes" when asked if they were aware of the term "Internet of Things."

Perhaps of even greater concern for tech companies entering this space is the fact that 92 percent of those same people expressed major concerns about the information being collected by all these Internet-connected devices.

As is the case with any new technology, particularly ones that involve any kind of personal data collection, there are arguments from all angles about the potential privacy abuses inherent in all this, weighed against the benefits these new network capabilities bring to people's lives.

Perhaps the best current example of a product that illustrates the potential benefits of IoT would be the "smart fridge," which for quite a while now has been the poster child for how IoT tech can make life in the future easier and more organized.

The deal here is the fridge can read RFID identification tags on the products inside and when one of those IDs isn't registering for a while this "smart fridge" alerts you to the fact you're out of that product and will even take it upon itself to order more from an online grocery store. And so it goes.

However, a funny thing is happening on the way IoT bliss. With all these tech firms and manufacturers falling over each other to get a piece of that $300 billion pie, interoperability problems were bound to become an issue. According to many, that is going to slow this industry down to a crawl before these concerns are worked out.

"Because many (Internet-of-Things) systems are being developed separately, by different firms under different proprietary standards, it is unclear how interoperability will emerge on the systemic level, or if it ever will," explains scholar Paul Kominers, who authored a case study on the subject for Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

In essence, what may ultimately put a choke hold on IoT, at least initially, will be people's distaste for being told where to shop, what and when they can eat and just generally being held captive socially by companies that will know all too much about everything they do.

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