FYI: I HAVE LONG admired my good friend, Nick, for his generosity with friends—but also for his inspiring ability to pinch a penny. The man can pinch so hard he makes Lincoln cry, so I knew the world was changing fast when he installed a Ring video doorbell. Really? Pinch me.
A decade ago, new technologies inspired fantasies of living in a Jetsons-style “smart home.” There was a nascent market for internet-connected products, such as the original Nest Learning Thermostat. Since then, the number of players and products has exploded. Smart assistants like Siri and Alexa also came along, further stoking growth, and sending companies scrambling to connect smart home products with assistants, so customers can control things with their voice.