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Home Automation: 3 Considerations

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Home Automation: 3 Considerations

A recent article on home automation caught my attention on the New Republic Website because my wife and I had considered some automation options but declined all of them (unless you include a programmable thermostat).

We grounded our considerations in history, current events, and current technology (or the lack thereof).

1. Certain home features (such as keys and locks) have been around for almost two millennia. Does keyless entry trump 2000 years of human locksmithing? That isn’t to say new technology is inherently bad but it neither has a track-record of success nor the weight of history behind it.

2. Most home automation devices require the use of the internet (such as the Nest) to operate and to store information on external servers. Do you feel comfortable “outsourcing” primary housing systems such as HVAC and, thus either giving-up or sharing control? For example, during the 2014 Polar Vortex Nest pushed upgrades which knocked-out the user’s ability to control temperatures.  Another consideration is that running systems over the internet opens yourself up to security issues. Which, again, do you want the possibility of hackers gaining control of your refrigerator or your gas stove? Better yet, they could gain control of your home systems and hold them hostage for ransom! Even more so, I could envision a country/terrorist group/international cabal deliberately targeting and disrupting such automation as part of a broader strategy to wage war. Though, admittedly, I could see a thriving market for home automation security services.

3. The current technological offerings for home automation lacks a “game-changing” device. Do I really want to invest time and money for a refrigerator that tweets out when it needs eggs? If I do, am I prepared for the additional distraction and security worry?

This is why we said Not Now and No Thanks….at least until we get a food replicator.

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