Disconnecting from the Grid
More of the world is connecting to grids. Many operations on earth are increasingly linked to the major grids: transportation, electric power, finance, communication – ultimately everything from water and food supplies to mobilization of weapons. WikiLeaks made it clear that everyone’s smart communications and entertainment systems are listening to and/or watching them, something known to tech-savvy people and now made known to the public at large. Growing numbers of people and entities are seeking to either disconnect or have back-up plans for emergencies and catastrophes. Products, services and affinity groups for those who wish to disengage from one or all major grids will mushroom in the coming years. From local communities to businesses to militaries to real estate developers to individual households, interest in either living disconnected from one or more grids, or being prepared should any shut down, is rising. As talk of autonomous vehicles grows, so does interest in old fashioned cars that are not as vulnerable to communications disruptions or hacking, and that can be fixed manually by old-fashioned mechanical know-how. And even bicycles, requiring no outside power source or connection. The same for the smart home. And wallets. Concern about hacking and malfunction has led growing numbers of people to question whether their homes, cars or money are secure in connected grids. This will also exacerbate fears over wearable (and increasingly implantable) devices. Real fears and real possibilities form needs. Those needs create markets, and those markets create affinity groups and innovation, and they spur competitive solutions. Wide scale availability of those solutions might even help to allay some of the fears.