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For consumers, the smart home is probably where they can get in touch with internet-enabled things, and it's an area where big tech companies-Amazon, Google and Apple in particular-compete fiercely.

The most obvious of these are smart speakers, like Amazon's Echo, but there are also smart plugs, light bulbs, cameras, thermostats and the much-derided smart fridge. But as well as showing your enthusiasm for shiny new devices, there's a more serious side to Smart Home apps. They can help keep older people independent and in their own homes longer by making it easier for family and carers to communicate with them and monitor how they get by. A better understanding of how our homes work and changing these settings can help save energy, for example by reducing heating costs.

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