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Disconnected Devices: How Many Apps Does It Take to Turn On a Light Bulb?

A solar-powered camera with Spark's Core could be used as a home-security camera, accessed from the user’s app. Photographer: Spark Core via Bloomberg
A solar-powered camera with Spark's Core could be used as a home-security camera, accessed from the user’s app. Photographer: Spark Core via Bloomberg

The simple act of turning off the lights had become a hassle at Andrew Schmitt's high-tech condo. The 36-year-old had installed a bunch of Internet-connected devices that were supposed to make his habitat more automated and efficient.

Instead, if he wanted to hit the lights or turn on the music, he had to search for his iPhone or iPad each time and fumble through different apps tied to various parts of his system: the motion detector, GE outlets and switches, Philips light bulbs and Sonos speakers.