More and more, the devices in your home are listening to you, your friends and family.
It sounds Orwellian. It’s billed as convenient.
As the Internet of Things proliferates, it creates a world in which everyday devices are interconnected via a web of sensors, apps, software and Wi-Fi. That means you can lower your thermostat on the drive home while your refrigerator orders a dozen eggs after sensing the supply is low.
Devices with various types of voice technology are also becoming more common. With a simple hands-free utterance, an Amazon- or Google-run personal assistant can stream your favorite Gap Band playlist or find a solid recipe for macaroons. But it also raises concerns about privacy – not just hacking but also how companies protect your data.
Some of the devices must be powered on manually, but others are always listening for commands or “wake words” that spur the machine into action.