4 Common Misconceptions About Smart Homes
Updated: May 10, 2019
Smart devices, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are taking the world by storm now. When the lights automatically turn on, or the window shades suddenly come down, we usually pay little attention. We know that technology has enabled all of that, and now, this piece of technology has already reached the consumer level. In this article, we will explore some of the common misconceptions about having a smart home, and shed a little more understanding on this topic so that consumers can have the confidence to incorporate some portion of it into their lives.
1. "I require vast technical knowledge to setup a smart home."
To someone who doesn't really understand technology, automating a home may sound technically challenging and meant to be left to a professional. However, smart home equipment manufacturers are constantly striving to make their products more user-friendly and straightforward. These products also come with apps which the companies themselves have designed with the user experience in mind.
With setup instructions that require fewer and fewer steps, yet remain clear and well-guided, more people are jumping onto the bandwagon and trying it out. Low prices of these equipment also make the cost of 'failure' a rather insignificant one, giving consumers the confidence to go the DIY route. Of course, some people still prefer to leave this to a professional as they may have special requirements or equipment.
In essence: Companies do all the difficult thinking for you so you don't have to. If you know how to connect your phone to WiFi, you're more or less fine.
2. "It's going to cost me a bomb."
With so many companies out there shoving their products in consumers' faces, competition among them is really tough. Which means, consumers get to enjoy great prices! DIY is definitely the cheapest option, but if what you have in mind is just a basic smart home system that builds convenience around your lifestyle, you'd still have a rather fat wallet even if you decide to let professionals do it for you.
Another point to note is that 'smartifying' or automating your home can be done in phases or stages. For example, if you feel that you don't like returning to a dark house, consider automating your lighting system first. If you are worried about the rain getting your stuff wet, prioritize automation on your motorized blinds or awnings etc.
In essence: Plan out and add your smart home improvements in phases so you don't have to fork out all that cash at once.
3. "I will have messy wires and devices all over the place or I will need to renovate my entire home."
Well, that depends on how particular you are about wires. Generally, most devices (controllers, hubs, bridges, etc) only require a power cable as they're usually WiFi enabled. So if you're alright with having a small device sit on your TV console or bedside table with a wire connecting it to the wall outlet, you don't have anything to worry about! For those really neat freaks who cannot accept even that, fret not, there is still a way. Some devices in the market run on batteries, but the downside is that you would have to replace their batteries every so often.
The most 'heavy' work that needs to be done would probably be drilling a few holes or so - similar to other home improvement projects. A large part of the effort lies in configuring the system to suit your lifestyle. Work with your smart home service provider on that.
In essence: Most solutions do not need extensive works to be carried out in order to incorporate them into your home, again, making it suitable to be carried out in phases.
4. "I need to memorize many different voice commands"
Yes, and no as well. The bigger your house, the more commands you will have. With most smart speakers or voice assistants, you'll get to customize your own commands. Group your devices and appliances according to rooms or areas and name them accordingly. Though possible, it is quite unlikely that you will be voice activating individual lights or window shades for example. You'll find yourself activating what is known as 'scenes' in smart home lingo. Scenes are a set of actions that happen when the trigger for it goes off. The trigger could be your voice command, or perhaps a motion sensor. These scenes are also user defined, so that means it can and should be configured according to your lifestyle. After a while, you'll find out which scenes are used more often than others. As you go about your life, those are the scenes that you'll remember because you use them almost everyday.
In essence: Get into the routine of your life and streamline your commands using scenes. You'll eventually only need to remember a few of them as you tweak the system.
The benefits of a smart home are indeed great - convenience, comfort and security. With the speed at which technology is advancing, it is only a matter of time before every home has some form of smart solution involved. If you think you're ready to explore this option, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!