What is the Internet of Things?
After seeing multiple references to “IoT” in trade publications, I decided to investigate to ensure I remained current with abbreviation trends. I learned that “IoT” stands for the “Internet of Tings” and refers to all physical devices embedded with technology that exchange data with internet-enabled systems. Smart phones, tablets, computers, and digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri are part of the IoT. The IoT also includes self-driving cars, DIRECTV receivers, Fitbits, refrigerators that will recommend a dinner menu based on your supplies, and remote triggered coffee pots. While some embrace the IoT as the beloved technology from The Jetsons cartoon, others are reminded of HAL from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and view the IoT as a dystopian threat.
How Are Lawyers Using the IoT?
The most common IoT devices worn by attorneys are smartwatches, fitness devices, and smart glasses. Professionally, lawyers wear smartwatches to read and respond to client emails and keep track of to-do lists. In addition to tracking data to meet personal health goals, data from Fitbits and similar health trackers may be used in a courtroom to document change in a client’s health patterns following an accident. While lawyers could conduct legal research with Google Glasses, that use of the technology has not caught on as expected. A more popular practice may be using smart glasses for augmented reality simulations, such as providing testimony of an expert witness virtually instead of relying on a written statement.
The February issue of the Wyoming Lawyer focused on the virtual law office with articles on relevant technology, such as digital assistants. Attorneys may use digital services like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana to perform legal research by voice activation, translate, or have documents read aloud, but other opportunities may be even more practical. For instance, Alexa can track time and assign billable hours using the Workplace tool developed by Tomson Reuters or by Case. one’s management tool. In an “Above the Law” blog post, Carolyn...