POP Home Switch Simple smart home control for the whole family

I recently installed some Hue lights in my home, as I wanted to start dabbling my foot into the Smart Home products and services arena. The stuff is reasonably easy to set-up, really. You just put a hub in your house which connects to the router and light bulbs. You then install the app on your phone, and you can control them from the Hue app or, alternatively, via Siri. 

I purchased the Hue Lights, as they work with Apple’s HomeKit, which is what I’d like to use to tie everything together. It should make it easier to manage everything, I expect.

Then yesterday I all of a sudden saw the programmable switches from Logitech (linked above), which would be a great thing to have in my house, so that the kids can also control the lights with an actual button. Upon further reading on their web site, I see that the switches also come with a hub.

Now this made me wonder: is my house going to be full of hubs for the different Smart Home products? One for the lights, one for the switches, one for the security camera, one for the smart wall sockets, one for the …. Like I said, I want the different products to be HomeKit compatible, but now that I think about it more, that is clearly not enough.

No consumer wants to have to deal with managing multiple hubs and multiple apps to control their house. That makes things more complicated, not more convenient – not even mentioning the security implications of having all these different hubs connected to your home network. Apple HomeKit as well as Android @ Home (with Brillo and Weave) seem like good steps, so that products from different vendors are controlled by one main control app. However, I feel that the hardware aspect is more difficult to solve and looks to be quite the hassle.

The IoT industry needs to come together to solve this, if they really want the general population to adopt these technologies. One hub and one app that controls it all is key for mass adoption. 

POP Home Switch Simple smart home control for the whole family

Smart home – so close, but still so far

Today I listened to another episode of the 361 degrees podcast. The hosts of the podcast do their annual challenge and this season it is all about the smart home.

After smartphones and tablets, the next big potential market for consumer electronics companies is the smart home (as a subset of the Internet of Things).

It is still a pretty nascent market, though. The issue with the smart home is the fact that so far the market has not been able to vote on the dominant standard that will make all the different devices, sensors, apps and services talk to each other. Both Apple, Google and Samsung have their own standards (and a bit of hardware in some cases) and there are lots of startups that have attractive solutions (lights, cameras, sensors, locks, etc).

Personally, I have not really launched into the smart home market yet, and that is mainly because of my doubts and questions around interoperability of sensors/devices/services, reliability of the routines/programmes, security and ease of use. The episode I am linking to in this post illustrates these issues very well: https://soundcloud.com/361podcast/s11e06

Still, this is a market with a lot of potential and I recommend anyone that is interested in this to listen to the podcast episodes. I for one will start to try some stuff in the near future.

Smart home – so close, but still so far