But 10 years from now, it may blossom into a full-scale operating system that has automated your life in ways you don't fully understand.
What might that look like? "The microwave decides you should be on a diet and won't let you eat popcorn," says Amy Webb, a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of the consulting firm Future Today Institute. "The washer decides you can get another day out of those jeans. Your garage decides you should walk to work."
Webb, who authors a report called Emerging Tech Trends every year, believes that a series of trends are converging on a vaguely dystopian scenario: "Your smart home is a smart prison and there is no escape," she described at the South by South West conference in Austin earlier this month. "You can unplug your microwave, but you can't unplug your whole family from the system." That means that your life will become even more dependent on a large tech company–so much so that you won't be able to escape the operating system that you're living inside.