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Apr 03 2017

Do you have a smart home?

Category: Electrified Hardware,VideosLori @ 12:28 pm Comments (17)

I saw this video the other day featuring Rob Martens – Allegion‘s Futurist and Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships, talking about the smart home movement.  And it made me wonder…with all of the hardware lovers and tech-savvy people who read iDigHardware, how many of you live in a “smart home”?  If you do, which components have you incorporated?  If you haven’t yet joined the smart home movement, what would you like to automate in your home – locks, lights, blinds, temperature control, cameras?  What are the challenges, obstacles, or benefits to having a smart home?  I’d love to hear from you!

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17 Responses to “Do you have a smart home?”

  1. Cda says:

    So far only exterior security cameras and garage door opener.
    And a ring doorbell. I might add the ring floodlight/ camera that is coming out. That looks like a good add.

    My fear if I lean to much on technology, I may not be able to get into my house, or make stuff work if the technology crashes. Plus power back up???

    It seems I have to do a reset on my cameras about twice a year.

  2. Laura Pedersen says:

    The main problem with home automation is competing standards. We should make one universal Smart Home standard to cover everyone’s…


  3. lach says:

    I feel at this point the only way to do it right just costs way to much for a standard middle class home. You could definitely Frankenstein something together from multiple manufacturers under a price point, but then run into the issues of compatibility and work arounds that would definitely affect the overall system performance. No matter what I think there should be mechanical overrides on these technologies. Hate to get locked out from a dead battery. Also what concerns me is someone taking over your system and taking control of your fully integrated “Smart Home”. With so many of these systems being internet based for you to control it when you are away from home. That in itself is a huge security issue. You could lose your phone or someone could get your account info by just phishing you. In my opinion it will lessen the security for convenience. “The Future Is Accessible” is the right description with emphasis on “Future”.

  4. David says:

    No. No smartmeters for the power company either.

  5. KGS says:

    I currently only have a garage door opener, if that even counts. I would love to be able to control the lights though, that way if I do not get home before it gets dark outside I can still turn my lights on to look like someone is home.

  6. Tony Warren says:

    I recently built a house and incorporated some home automation features right away, others Im waiting until I can set aside the cash needed to purchase. First, I wired my home for IP cameras. None installed yet, but will hopefully soon. I also installed a z-wave garage door opener, which gives me the ability to remotely monitor if it’s open/closed, also to remotely open/close the door itself. I installed a Ecobee thermostat, for hvac control and also has remote temp/motion sensors to detect temperature in specific rooms and ajust accordingly. Installed 3 z-wave Schlage touchscreen deadbolts. A few zigbee lighting controls as well. All controlled through 1 app on smartphone or tablet. I initially got a hub on a kickstarter campaign that was called Webee, included zigbee, z-wave, wifi, and Bluetooth capabilities, but it worked like garbage…..poor support, little useful documentation, etc. I moved to the Samsung SmartThings hub, works great, love it. Challenges are certainly support of a system like this. If you are somewhat tech savvy, you’ll be ok. But be prepared for things to go south, because they will. Especially if you have a more complex system. As the complexity and customizations grow, so will your support. I, myself am a very active DIY type person, I have the patience for it. If you are not a tech savvy person, you’ll have a hard time. There is somewhat of a learning curve. Also, I find with typical consumers, expectations are a bit higher than what the current hardware can deliver, but there is still a lot of value in the items currently on the market. Benefits are control. I have the ability to see what’s happening at my house at any time, it’s saved us time and money already. Im looking forward to watching this market grow in the coming years. It certainly will be interesting to watch the changes on how it affects our day to day lives. One other item I would point out is open source hardware/software. I absolutely WILL NOT buy items that are proprietary. This gives me the flexibility to change hubs, (which I have already) and still maintain the same hardware. It also gives me the option to purchase best in class hardware or whatever hardware I can afford at the time. Any questions, let me know.

  7. Grant Heppes says:

    Use my Amazon Alexa to control all the lights in my apartment.

  8. Tony Klagenberg says:

    Not at this time, concerned about lack of security. Hacking of smart devices is a problem.

  9. rb says:

    I recall back in the 90’s AT&T ran a commercial generally promoting technology that asked a bunch of “Have you ever…” questions: “Have you ever sent a fax from the beach? Have you ever studied abroad from your bedroom? Have you ever unlocked your door with your voice?… You will. And AT&T will bring you there.” At the time I was at a very tech-evangelizing place, but a guest speaker came in warning about the need for backup by parodying that ad with: “Have you ever gotten locked out because you had laryngitis? You will!”

  10. rb says:

    My automation consists of putting my porch Christmas lights on a plug-in timer and leaving them up until spring daylight savings time because I like having the porch brightly lit when I come home in the dark. That’s New England dreariness for ya.

  11. Glenn Younger says:

    Very simple: 1 Samsung Smartthings hub, 2 Schlage Deadbolts. The Deadbolts help build a mesh network for future adds.
    Future adds, smart doorbell, garage door controller, and exterior video cameras.

    My guys have also installed lots of Nest (former Dropcam) cameras, but have NOT used with a Smartthings Hub. Nest has a simple app download, works great with wireless networks, easy add where there is a wireless netowrk for access to the internet.
    We run both the Nest camera and our full blown video system in our office. The Nest picture in low light is really pretty good. Could not use for commercial setting that need lots of back up/audit ability, but for a home or an office with just a few doors, can’t be beat.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Glenn! I have Blink cameras, which I love, but I don’t think they would work well either if lots of back-up is needed.

      – Lori

  12. Roger Yost says:

    Because I frequently travel, my wife got an alarm system, but I’m happy with my Schlage keypad deadbolt. We’re not planning on buying any ‘Internet of Things’ items until they are more secure and they are standardized better. I especially don’t want anything that includes a monthly fee.

    • Lori says:

      I loved my Schlage keypad lock but I can’t cut one into the door of my rental in MX. I miss it!

      – Lori

  13. rb says:
    Related: an internet-connected garage door opener’s owner posted a rude review on Amazon. Smart garage door opener creator bricked the owner’s device.

  14. Bill Partington says:

    I enjoy the Alexa voice command that is also a phone app. We can turn on the ceiling fan or lights or ask for a weather report. Thermostat and deadbolts next. Music on demand works from the wifi. Smart watch with voice answering. Grandkids like it.

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