Year of the smart home

New programs could see homeowners coming out ahead

milesIf 2007 was the year of the smartphone, then 2017 might be the year of the smart home.

Before 2007, there were cellphones that connected to the Internet, sure. But that year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. It was the company’s biggest innovation since 1984’s launch of the original Macintosh, and its ripple effect on the entire technology sector continues.

Enthusiasts waited in line all night to get an iPhone and for a tremendous number of people, seeing one was wanting one (although the initial high price tag held a lot of us back until the next year).

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Speak now

Speech-recognition tech offers in-home potential. But beware

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As speech-recognition technology becomes increasingly reliable, it has the potential to become the interface of choice for just about every device we use.

On the surface, it makes sense. After all, people speak at an average of 150 words per minute, while most of us can barely type 40 on a good day.

But as convenient and novel as being able to talk to your computer, thermostat, lights and appliances might be, it comes with a few cautions.

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