With a networking foundation laid by its smartphone forefathers, the so-called Internet of Things is poised to be similarly transformative, in less time. A growing stable of networked devices now have the ability to collect information about our activities, interactions and environments, and use that data to make our lives easier.

Turning down the thermostat when we leave for work or automatically activating a security system when the house is quiet are two prime examples. But the future could hold more exciting possibilities as the fabric of hidden connections between machines grows ever thicker.

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