Lighting up the smart home

Smartphones. Smart TVs. Smart appliances. Smart ... light bulbs?

As my colleague Andrea Chang reported in Tuesday's Times, microprocessors and connectivity have been migrating into a growing number of product categories. That trend has been developing for years, but it really took off as residential broadband connections proliferated, as did home Wi-Fi networks.

For some products, the benefits of connectivity are obvious. Smart refrigerators, for example, can suggest recipes based on the food they're chilling and create shopping lists for items that are depleted. As networking technology spreads to more mundane items, though, the appeal isn't necessarily as apparent.

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