Everyday objects like lightbulbs and locks and yoga mats—supercharged via computer chips and Wi-Fi—have delivered a golden age of automated, secure, and efficient homes. Or so the marketing copy reads. And we’re buying it. Literally.
This year alone, we will install some 4 billion “smart” things in our homes. But not all are created equal. While some of these connected doodads do indeed make life easier, many others are better left uninstalled.