It’s easy to imagine a future where products as mundane as toasters and window blinds will be connected to the Internet and controlled by software. It’s harder to guess who’s going to make them. Leading producers of consumer software such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Snapchat are branching into designing physical goods at accelerating rates. It’s all conjecture for now, but they are real considerations for software behemoths that want to solidify monopolies as well as start-ups seeking to upend traditional consumer brands, technology executives and advisers say.
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