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What smartphones and apps have done to connect people to the Internet wherever they go, emerging new technologies will soon connect seemingly every other object in your life (even the most nonelectronic in nature) to the Web. It’s a weird phrase you’ll hear a lot this year: the Internet of Things.
These “Things” aren’t new. They’re mundane devices—lights, garage doors, toasters and other household appliances—all tricked out with sensors and wired into semi-autonomous algorithms. It’s all designed to give consumers more control, make their lives easier, give them more information—in short, to borrow from a famous slogan, to bring ordinary things to life.