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The Internet of Things (IoT), often referred to as the “so-called Internet of Things,” is a concept that describes an expanding network of devices that are connected to the Internet. The term is often used in reference to the near future, where connectivity will no longer be limited to computers, smartphones and other traditional devices, but will also include everyday objects like dishwashers, televisions, watches and so forth.

In addition to WiFi-enabled toothbrushes that keep track of your hygiene patterns, the IoT is also giving way to the development of brave new objects that we never knew we wanted or needed, such as security enforcement rent-a-droids.

The K5 Beta, designed and manufactured by Knightscope, is one such droid currently patrolling a series of undisclosed locations in and around Silicon Valley. Billed as as an “autonomous data machine,” the K-5 is able to see, hear, feel and smell potential crime or terror threats as they happen and is marketed as a cost-effective alternative to costly meat-and-bone security guards.

Striking the image of a Jonathan Ive-designed Dalek, the five-foot, 300 pound K5 has been described as “cute” and “non-confrontational” by Knightscope, which stresses that current models are unarmed and are intended to serve primarily as a preventative presence that will deter undesirable activity in the areas it patrols.

K-5 features include:

  • 4 microphones
  • 4 high-definition cameras
  • license plate detector
  • temperature sensor
  • air pressure sensor
  • carbon dioxide sensor
  • 24hr battery charge

Note: If disturbed physically, the K5 will emit an intensely ominous BEEPING sound, which will gradually increase in volume while any threat exists or until the source of the disturbance is apprehended by authorities.

— Douglas Haddow. Part 3 of Field Guide to Virtual Warfare from Adbusters Issue #118.[cherry_banner image=”6260″ title=”Adbusters #118″ url=”″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Field Guide to Virtual Warfare [/cherry_banner]