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Thanks to the Internet of Things and advances in mobile technology, the “smart home” is in our midst. But are we ready for it? In this article, author Sean Groom helps readers make sense of the rapidly evolving field of products and networking devices that enable homeowners to monitor and control their home’s appliances and mechanical systems from afar. In addition to basic information about how home automation works, Groom describes several plug-and-play products that enable even beginners to quickly and easily interact remotely with their home’s thermostat, security system, door locks, and appliances. A chart compares popular network systems, including Wink, Insteon, Iris, and WeMo, to help readers choose the one compatible with their mobile device. The concept of geofencing is explained, as is manufacturers’ use of data collected from users of internet-connected devices.
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