The house that spied on me
Reporter Kashmir Hill tested life in a smart home by adding numerous connected devices. The self-heating bed gave her daily reports on whether she'd reached her "sleep goal". She liked the convenience of the voice-activated lights, coffee maker, and music, the ability to convey a message to a toddler through a toy, and the robot vacuum cleaner. Meanwhile, colleague Surya Mattu built a Raspberry Pi router to monitor these devices to find out what data they collected and where they wanted to send it. They found a steady stream of outward-bound data even when the house was empty - and massive annoyances because of the friction involved in getting all the devices to work together and satisfying their demands. Free advice: when you install connected CCTV cameras inside your home, think before you walk around nude. Hill's conclusion: "Smart homes are dumb."
Writer: Kashmir Hill, Surya Mattu