Consumer Electronics are Everywhere and in Everything

shutterstock_77189269_resultSo at this point, we see advanced electronics embedded in just about everything. The obvious places are our computers, smartphones, digital cameras and video cameras, etc.

Less obvious are things like our washing machines, refrigerators and other major appliances, our sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and even the cold water bottle holder!

Some of them are smarter than others. I just (last Sunday) went around the house resetting clocks. There were:

  • clock radios by the bedside
  • oven clocks
  • water bottle dispenser
  • sprinkler system
  • intercom system
  • battery powered clocks around the house

But not on the list were computers, smartphones, cellphones, and my cable boxes – they all get automatically updated. And one lone battery powered “atomic” clock that sets from a radio signal. Oh, and my home automation system controller, it apparently reads a time tick from somewhere.


I hope one day that all of the items on that list get automatically updated, which saves me from that twice yearly ritual of springing forward and falling back. Or, we stop this archaic practice of daylight savings time, although it does seem kind of nice in the springtime.

A few years back we’d done an addition to our house, and I took that opportunity to put in some cool Insteon light switches – ok, a lot of them! The beauty of these is that they are controlled by radio signals sent through the electrical wires, so you can set switches to control any other switch (or light). There’s only one problem – my wife says she has no idea how to turn the lights on or off!

I guess there’s such a thing as being too ‘wired’…

As the “Internet of Things” becomes more prevalent (I’m watching you, Nest and HomeKit), more and more of our lives will be intertwined with technology. My hope is that as everything we touch gets connected to the internet, controls and management will become more elegantly automated so our lives will begin to uncomplicate – at least around our consumer electronics!

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