Now that we've revolutionized personal mobile devices, the home may be the next frontier for gadgets. For instance, Lowes introduced a hub designed to centralize all those digital environmental controls already packed into your house. Netgear introduced a range of security-monitoring, night-vision and media-streaming boxes. IBM, with its eye on the big picture, introduced a service designed to connect your refrigerator, media system and anything else through an Internet-connected TV to its SmartCloud, so you can keep track of who's watching pay-per-view on your TV while you're at work paying for it. The SmartCloud connectivity expands on IBM's SmartHome project, to which it just signed embedded-systems and smart-device makers STMicroelectronics and start-up Shaspa Research.
Kevin Fogarty is a freelance writer covering networking, security, virtualization, cloud computing, big data and IT innovation. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CNN.com, CIO, Computerworld, Network World and other leading IT publications. View Full Bio