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How Our Homes Items are Getting Smarter and Creepier, Like It or Not

Homes Getting Smarter

Technology News for Home Items

Tech Innovators are promoting internet-connected devices that help businesses gather more details about your daily life.

HOME ITEMS are Getting Smarter through CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET

  • Network technology for internet access
  • Home control for lighting temperature and more
  • Consumer electronics for home entertainment
  • Fitness devices track health, exercise and sleep
  • Home monitoring cameras and sensors for security use.
  • Appliances with app or voice control to start the coffee maker or set the microwave timer.

One day, finding an oven that just cooks food may be as tough as buying a TV that merely lets you change channels.

Internet-connected “smarts” are creeping into cars, refrigerators, thermostats, toys and just about everything else in your home. Tech Innovators has developed many of these products, including an oven that coordinates your recipes and a toilet that flushes with a voice command.

With every additional smart device in your home, companies are able to gather more details about your daily life. Some of that can be used to help advertisers target you — more precisely than they could with just the smartphone you carry.

Collection of Data in the name of Convenience

Companies say they are building these products not for snooping but for convenience, although they are enabling the intelligence can use the details they collect to customize their services and ads.

Whirlpool, for instance, is testing an oven whose window doubles as a display. You’ll still be able to see what’s roasting inside, but the glass can now display animation pointing to where to place the turkey for optimal cooking.

The oven can sync with your digital calendar and recommend recipes based on how much time you have. It can help coordinate multiple recipes, so that you’re not under-cooking the side dishes in focusing too much on the entree.

A camera inside lets you zoom in to see if the cheese on the lasagna has browned enough, without opening the oven door.

As for that smart toilet, Kohler’s Numi will respond to voice commands to raise or lower the lid — or to flush. You can do it from an app, too. The company says it’s all about offering hands-free options in a setting that’s very personal for people. The toilet is also heated and can play music and the news through its speakers

Kohler also has a tub that adjusts water temperature to your liking and a kitchen faucet that dispenses just the right amount of water for a recipe.

Samsung has several voice-enabled products, including a fridge that comes with an app that lets you check on its contents while you’re grocery shopping. New this year: Samsung’s washing machines can send alerts to its TVs
— smart TVs, of course — so you know your laundry is ready while watching Netflix.
— a fishing rod that tracks your location to build an online map of where you’ve made the most catches.
— a toothbrush that recommends where to brush more.
— a fragrance diffuser that lets you control how your home smells from a smartphone app.

These are poised to join internet-connected security cameras, door locks and thermostats that are already on the market. The latter can work with sensors to turn the heat down automatically when you leave home.

Gadgets with voice controls typically aren’t transmitting any data back to company servers until you activate them with a trigger word, such as “Alexa” or “OK Google.” But devices have sometimes misheard innocuous words as legitimate commands to record and send private conversations.
Even when devices work properly, commands are usually stored indefinitely. Companies can use the data to personalize experiences

— including ads. Beyond that, background conversations may be stored with the voice recordings and can resurface with hacking or as part of lawsuits or investigations.

If insurers get hold of your private data, they might utilize these data against your claim (if any) for eating unhealthy diets etc.

Is Really Simple is Better?

The market for smart devices is still small, but growing, Consumers can decide what they need in future, if they are firm believer that simple is better, than they don’t need to have these so-called enhancements, “Does one really need a refrigerator that keeps track of everything in it and tell you, you are running out of milk?.

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