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Smart Homes, Stupid Owners: Hack Time

Written by Gary North on January 12, 2015

Sony got hacked. Target got hacked. Do you think your home can’t be hacked if you digitize it?

That’s what a smart home is: digitized.

Call this movement “NSA heaven.”

Which of these benefits would you be willing to open your home to the hackers in order to obtain? All of them were shown at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Inventors think the public will rush out to buy these.

1. Whirlpool Smart Top Load. This top-loading washer/dryer pair, expected to launch this spring for between $2,500 and $3,000, syncs with the Nest thermostat to trigger a quiet mode when you’re at home and delay cycles for off-peak hours when electricity costs less.

2. Keen Smart Home Vent. By connecting to smart thermostats, these $85 vents open or close automatically by using built-in sensors that track a room’s optimal temperature.

3. Ecovent. For about $200 a room, this device automatically adjusts vents via its own temperature, humidity, and motion-sensing wall plugs.

4. iDevices Switch. This $50 rectangular device, which plugs into an outlet, turns your iPhone into a remote on-off switch for lamps and appliances. It works with Apple’s HomeKit app.

5. iHome SmartPlug. Also compatible with Apple’s new app, this upcoming device enables users to control plugged-in smart devices simply by talking to Siri.

6. Incipio Smart Wall Outlet. This $60 HomeKit-based outlet—along with a $25 power strip—allows owners to control electronic devices from their smartphones.

7. Zuli Smartplug. This $50 product, which plugs into a wall socket, picks up Bluetooth signals from a nearby phone—rather than using motion sensors—to observe when someone walks by and when to turn on lamps, fans, and other devices.

8. First Alert Onelink. Inspired by Nest, this $249 smart thermostat allows owners to set temperature schedules in advance and alerts them when it’s time to clean air filters or do other HVAC maintenance.

I will skip them. I prefer trailing edge technology.

Some people are late adopters. I’m a non-adopter.

I use a dumb phone: no tracking. If I want to use the Web, I use it at home.

(For more on this, click the link.)

Continue Reading on news.nationalgeographic.com

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