How Google and Apple will smartify your home

The next big culture shift in consumer technology is clearly home automation. Over the next two or three years, a dizzying array of home appliances and devices will connect up with your phone and TV box to make everything "smart" (which, let's face it, is a euphemism for "more fun but also more expensive and complex").

In fact, "home automation" isn't a great name because manual control of household objects is a major benefit. So let's call it "smartification."

As with all mainstream technologies -- including PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets and now wearables -- smartification is something that has existed for years as a technical hobby. Now, it's about to become something ubiquitous.

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