Smart Homes & The Internet Of Things

A motion detector can send your smartphone an alert, from The New York

A motion detector can send your smartphone an alert, from The New York Times

The future is knocking at your front door. Literally. Crystal balls are predicting the worldwide market for smart-connected homes could eventually be as large as $40 million and venture capitalist are investing big time in companies whose products represent the next big wave in consumer technology: carbon monoxide detectors, thermostats, locks. It is all outlined in an article by Jenna Wortham in the Sunday New York Times.

“The home of the future — complete with helper bots and automated appliances — has long been the stuff of science fiction. The tech world is determined to make it a reality.

Soon, the vision goes, everything from garden products to bathroom appliances will be controlled by the touch of a smartphone. Without setting foot in the door, a person headed home could turn off the security system and turn on the shower, and begin preheating the oven.

The concept of outfitting everyday objects with sensors and connecting them to the web, often called the Internet of Things, has been brewing for several years. But the announcement last week that Google was paying $3 billion to acquire Nest, a maker of Internet-connected home products, put a sort of Good Housekeeping seal of approval on this nascent market.

“Google is showing that the Internet of Things is not a passing fad,” said Jason Johnson, the chief executive of August, a company that makes smart locks controlled by a smartphone app. ‘It is a legitimate industry, and I’m excited to see big companies taking it seriously.’”

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