Tech companies have been talking about connected homes for years - The Internet of Things - where appliances and accessories will be connected to the Internet. Have you thought about\u00a0how a\u00a0world with connected devices surrounding us would be? Have you imagined a home where household appliances\u00a0and systems can automatically take action without your input?\u00a0Because the connected home is no longer a vision - it is fast becoming a reality. At the\u00a0Consumer Electronic Show (CES), this year, the main focus was smart appliances and connected homes. A\u00a0startup, known as Smart Things, prepared a house equipped with full range of smart appliances to show off the endless possibilities. The company prepared a hub where devices integrated with a\u00a0line of sensors and interacted with third party devices. There were\u00a0varieties of smart locks, sensors, cameras, and lights. The greatest advantage to this is that the system is actually not futuristic - or unaffordable. Staying Connected in The Internet of Things Many of us\u00a0unknowingly have already joined this club, commonly referred to as The\u00a0Internet of Things. Having a smartphone means you are in\u00a0this group. And almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone in their pocket. A smartphone brims with sensors like the GPS, an accelerometer, a compass, sound, light and an altimeter. I'm sure you've\u00a0noticed that your smartphone can monitor your health, check the velocity of your\u00a0car, measure the magnitude of an\u00a0earthquake and countless other things. Smartphones can also be a\u00a0wireless hub for other gadgets and sensors. They\u00a0can also act as a\u00a0universal remote control for a\u00a0smart home. The smartphone is an important driver behind the concept of connected devices. Technology companies are considering more smart things they can bring to\u00a0market. They are also imagining new ways these devices will be inter-connected and communicate with each other. This home network can include items like coffee mugs, heating and lighting controls or washing machines. Sensors can now even be attached to your pets. Connected equipment gives you the\u00a0opportunity to digitally monitor and control aspects of your life through apps or a web browser. A\u00a0few years\u00a0down the line, the virtual world may\u00a0be able to communicate and respond just as easily, or even more so, as\u00a0in the physical world. Connected Devices That Have Created a Sensation Some home builders are thinking of an entire house full of connected devices while there are many consumers who prefer smaller devices that can be controlled by a smartphone. A\u00a0common example of a connected device is a\u00a0refrigerator\u00a0that can send text messages when your\u00a0milk is nearly empty. And\u00a0Hue Lightbulbs, made by Philips, can be controlled from an\u00a0iPhone. WiFi powered or camera installed devices can be controlled via smartphone apps from a distant location. You can preheat an\u00a0oven in your home while sitting at your office desk. Many of these devices are equipped with tiny computer chips so that they can make their own decisions. For example, the sprinkler in your garden can check the weather online and decide whether your lawn needs to be watered or not. If you\u00a0tend to forget where you\u00a0have last laid your\u00a0keys, eye glasses, tiny valuables or your\u00a0wallet, you can simply attach a Tile\u00a0to them and keep track of them\u00a0through a\u00a0smartphone app. Benefits Connected devices may\u00a0be especially beneficial for elderly persons. It is possible to use sensors to\u00a0notify caregivers if the person deviates from their\u00a0usual routine\u00a0or\u00a0stays for a longer period of time in bed or the bathroom. Additional\u00a0advantages of smart devices are: They can remind you to complete\u00a0a job that has yet to be completed. Sensors fitted within devices help them to make decisions on their own. You can control the equipment in your home from your smartphone sitting anywhere, at anytime. However, there are many hurdles these smart devices have to overcome. It will still be a while\u00a0before we have a standard platform that\u00a0allows management of several smart devices from one central place. Introducing a WiFi or computer chip into the devices isn't that tough. The hardest part is how the data is\u00a0interpreted. Many expect\u00a0companies will soon overcome these obstacles\u00a0and eventually - we will all be living in a connected universe.