Home Smart Home

Energy-monitoring and smart technologies have set up shop in the home, transforming machines for living into veritable living things—with all the bells, whistles, frills, and failures.

It’s 2 a.m. when Benny Goodman’s clarinet jolts me awake. Through the fog of sleep—–not to mention earplugs—–I at first think the high-pitched strains are the tired wheezings of my fan. I quickly, however, identify the sweet and unmistakable sounds as the King of Swing wafting from the bathroom. The culprit behind the sudden symphony is a four-by-four-inch plastic square screwed into the wall: one of our whole-house audio control panels, which has no business being switched to "on" at this hour.

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