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Smart-Home Gadgets Need a Translator Real Bad—Here’s How to Get One

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Emma Martin
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Say, for instance, you link your thermostat, window shades, ceiling fans, floor vents, and lawn sprinklers.

It sends a signal to crank up the air conditioning, flip on the fan in your home office, activate the sprinklers in your lawn and garden, and raise the window shades.

With the right hub, you can also build yourself a top-notch security system by piecing together door locks, video cameras, motion sensors, carbon monoxide alarms, and smoke detectors—and set it up to alert your phone if anything happens.

Hook these $50-150 physical boxes into your home network via Ethernet cable, plug them into a wall outlet, and they ll automatically recognize hundreds of other companies devices.

It s a cleaner look not having a box, and you can get started for little or no money.

The tougher sell is that you ll have to shop carefully, because each smart device you use will have to be built to be compatible with your software-only system.

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Emma Martin
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