A study conducted by Coldwell Banker and CNET in August of last year found that 28% of homes in the US have smart home devices… And that number is only going to grow in our opinion. But what is a smart home device really… and how smart are these devices? Are we talking Skynet from Terminator or more like Jarvis from Ironman? We are still years away from artificial intelligence of that magnitude so no need to worry about T2 showing up at your door!
Today’s smart home devices come in all shapes and sizes from the Nest thermostat to the Amazon Echo, to complete home automation systems from companies like Vantage Controls or Elan. On one end of the spectrum we have products like Nest that are truly great at what they do, which is manage and automate your air conditioning system. They also have a great app with an easy to use interface that makes interacting with the system a pleasant experience. You even have the ability to control your air conditioning from anywhere in the world that you have internet access. But it stands alone in your home and doesn’t really communicate with any other smart devices unless you add a middle man like the Echo or a full automation system.
The Amazon Echo allows you to ask it questions and “communicate” with it a la Jarvis in the Ironman movies. Sure you can have the Echo turn on lights and even adjust your air conditioning by asking it to, but there are several limitations. First, and most importantly of which, is that this is a do-it-yourself product and you are now the technician assigned to keeping up with software updates and figuring out how to make all the smart devices “talk” to each other. Secondly, you are limited to using only approved products that the Echo can communicate with. Will that list of products grow with time? Sure, but it is likely that the list will just accumulate more and more do-it-yourself products. What does this mean for you? More software updates and technical understanding of how it all works together. This may work for the more techie consumer, but it is likely not the route most people want to take.
This is where complete home automation systems come in. Sure they will cost more upfront and you won’t be able to program them yourself, but it will be a reliable and professionally installed system. Do you want to build your own car from parts you ordered over the internet from different vendors, or do you just want to go to the dealer of choice and buy a fully functioning car? Expanding on the car analogy... When you have car trouble you typically take the car in to the dealership or your trusted mechanic, but who do you call when your Echo isn’t turning on the light you asked it to? Amazon? The lighting company? Your wifi router manufacturer? You see where I’m going with this? With a professionally designed and installed home automation system you have one phone number to call when something doesn’t seem to work just right… and trust me that will happen no matter how “perfect” your installation was.
When you’re ready to make your home smart… Call First Priority Audio! We’re here to help you.