The Internet of Things (IoT) means adding network connectivity and some form of "intelligence" to everything. Everyday items are now connected to each other and the Internet. We are seeing an accelerating trend of smart devices flooding personal spaces, creating smart homes. Nearly all home goods can be bought with Internet connectivity. It doesn't stop there: Security cameras, baby monitors, televisions, thermostats and heating systems are all connecting to the Wi-Fi network inside your house.
Smart home devices are used to monitor or control the environment in our homes. But while they're the height of convenience, we can't ignore the security nightmare being created by their use. So how smart is it to connect all the appliances, even alarm and security systems, to the internet? We do not have standardized security measures for the devices that are making their way into our homes, but with the convenience they offer, many times that outweighs the application of common sense. With every additional smart device in a home's network, the system becomes more complex and more at risk.
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When it comes to predicting when the smart home will become a mainstream phenomenon, we've repeatedly missed the mark. Some of us have enjoyed the benefits--and dealt with the few headaches--of living in smart homes for years. And since today's technology is so much better than what we started with, we're always surprised to hear statistics like this one from the market-research firm Parks Associates: Just one of every five broadband household owns a smart-home device. Here's another sobering statistic from Parks Associates analyst Brad Russell: Only eight percent of all broadband households purchased a new smart-home device in 2015. But Russell says things are looking up for 2016: Fully 40 percent of broadband households plan to purchase a smart-home device this year, with a third of those purchases being smart light bulbs.