Transforming to a Smart Home
How to transform your home into a smart home is a major challenge as well. Installing technology in your home isn’t just a matter of finding the best device; it’s also about finding the best system to support that device.
We often design homes for optimal physical functionality, not technological functionality.
As an example, we place many outlets on walls to support lamps or the hanging of pictures. However, they become obsolete for smart technology because they’re typically 2 feet off the floor when ideally they should be 3 feet or higher.
It’s a design oversight that makes it harder to place items within reach of devices without having to move furniture around unnecessarily.
Even worse, many plug-in technologies can block air vents and overheat in our homes because circuits have no ventilation and heat dissipation feature.
Fortunately, there are some excellent companies working on such problems. But we need to accomplish more things so that we don’t have to worry about our household wiring burning down from faulty smart devices.
The expansion of sensors and software for Smart Homes will also lead to concerns over privacy and security — how much information does my home want to share with me? How much information does my home want to share with the world? What if someone hacks into my home network?
These issues are real but we need to weigh them against the fact that widespread adoption of Smart Homes and IoT will make them more secure as a whole, as hacking one Smart Home means you’re also apt to hack many.
Scale and Interoperability
And then there’s the issue of scale and interoperability. A typical home contains dozens of smart devices, from thermostats to door locks. The idea is that we can control all these devices in one centralized location to eliminate any hassles associated with owning multiple products.
The ideal situation would be a system where one controller can control all smart devices, so that a user wouldn’t have to buy multiple specialized controllers for each room or device type in their home.
As an example, right now you might need one central hub like Google Home or Amazon Echo, which controls some entertainment gadgets and speakers but not speakers connected through your TV or other power tools as well as separate hubs, adapters like Wink, Amazon Keyless or August Latch for your front door lock and each separate garage door entry pad.
These hubs themselves still require manual entry of your WiFi name or other security information which gets a little complicated as more devices are added to your network, thus creating potential for user errors. The easier the system is to use, the more likely people will adopt it in their homes.
Affordable Smart Technology
All these issues are solvable though; they’re not used to selling technology that can’t be improved. Some of these problems will be alleviated by smart technology becoming cheaper over time — we have seen this in the past and will continue to see it with any new technology.
What this means is that if you’re not sure about Smart Homes or IoT right now, hold off on buying anything and wait six months instead of just buying something that’s popular today just because it’s convenient or cool right now… wait till you see some great deals on some awesome tech!
Our blog, HandyWork, also has some great articles on IoT, Smart Homes, and IoT. You can check out some of our other articles now!