Making a smart home cohesive definitely has its challenges. But when you can get your smart home to simultaneously turn the lights on command, remind you to buy smart bulbs and set a timer for the cookies in the oven, it feels like a huge success.
Building homes to be smart from the ground up, in a seamless yet invisible way, just isn’t practical yet. But technology is becoming easier to integrate into our homes.
“What’s enabled by internet, Wi-Fi, freestanding autonomous devices is so many new possibilities that you can almost bypass the problem of cabling a house,” said Richard Harper, a sociologist and computer scientist who has done smart home research for Microsoft and Orange, according to The Verge. “Most often homes are old ladies and you’re trying to make them smart with new tech on the inside.”
This entails picking the right smart devices for your home in order to keep them all working in sync. Companies that specialize in smart home tech can install a completely managed system, but most homeowners won’t since it’s quite expensive.
Setting up all the integrated technology yourself is doable, but it’s quite challenging. Now, Apple is making it easier by offering its HomeKit ecosystem, for all products that connect to iPhones. Amazon and Google also offer product branding that tells you whether or not a product will connect to Alexa or the Google Assistant.
These smart home gadgets that are available to the public are getting more focused on specific needs and wants and less hands-on. This may be from technological limitations, but may also be from companies adapting their products to what people want.
“Part of making the home special is the labors of being at home: how tidy you are, what you put on the wall, in the fridge, the effort you put into your cooking,” Harper says. “The role of tech can’t displace those activities. It has to let people do other things.”
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)