The Internet of Everything is a rundown of the productivity in our current digital age. The documentary won’t bowl you over, but you’ll be happy that filmmaker Brett Gaylor has brought you up to speed.
The film’s main takeaway boils down to that classic advice from 2002’s Spider-Man: with great power comes great responsibility. While online developments continue to be impressive and unpredictable, they also open other opportunities to reap benefits while recording (and possibly monetizing) our private activity. What begins as technology for a “smart home” could evolve into more advanced systems that monitor the people inside. This, of course, proposes ethical decisions about personal security; sometimes told through various stories experienced by interview subjects. A testimonial about how “smart home” technology was used as a tool for domestic abuse is particularly eye-opening.
The audience appreciates being led by Gaylor, who approaches this project as a personable Average Joe curious about the expanding limits of this field. It’s also easy to welcome his stylistic filmmaking flare considering it adds vibrancy to the standard doc format. His narration occasionally, yet purposely, comes across as a wee bit out-of-touch, but only so that he can speak for all audiences watching this short-form doc. After all, most online-savvy people watching this film will have already known about how audible keywords can be used to redirect users to matching content. But then again, this may be news to older viewers who couldn’t be bothered by smart technology.
This is why The Internet of Everything is worthwhile but, at the same time, neutral fodder. It will help solidify established beliefs about the digital age, but it also won’t persuade anyone to change their opinions.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie