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Talking Tech: Pros and cons of the connected home

Bells and whistles can't improve a subpar product

Published: April 04, 2014 02:30 PM

It’s been a bad day. The babysitter forgot her key. The pizza you’re bringing home is cold, and the washing machine is on the fritz. Fortunately, with a few taps on your smart phone, you can unlock the door, preheat the oven, and diagnose the washer’s problem before you walk in the house. That’s the promise of the connected home and all the smart appliances in it.

Now that almost everyone has a smart phone in his or her pocket, access to and control of your home from anywhere is becoming more of a possibility. Some of the offerings, like a so-called smart toilet, are over the top and others such as thermostats that learn your behavior can save you money and energy.

Are these products just novelties? Are they vulnerable to hacking and tracking? That’s what Electronics Editor Glenn Derene asked Home and Appliance experts, Bob Markovich and Celia Lehrman. If a product is good at the basics, it’s nice to have the added functionality but what good is a smart lock if it isn't strong? Bob and Celia make sense of it all in our latest podcast.

Want to talk more tech? Visit our Talking Tech special section.

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