Smart Home adoption issues ... San Francisco Chronicle article "Why Aren't People Buying In?"

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #1

Just noticed this local writer’s article today. No mind-blowing revelations…

Guess it can be summarized that consumers want simplicity, privacy, and affordability? But: in what order?

It also refers to recent (April 30th, 2015) article on “confusing policies of smart devices” …):

(Keith Croshaw) #2

Yea I saw a reference to it today too. The amount of custom stuff I’ve had to do to get my home where I want it vs a wemo setup targeted at mainstream that just doesn’t work tells me we’re a couple years off of maintaining here.


Agreed. In its current state HA systems are too difficult for mainstream adoption and largely fail to offer a compelling reason for purchase and installation. Light switches and dumb sensors are still more reliable and simpler to use. My irrigation system is already programmable and has a rain sensor. My security system does what it was intended to do without fail.

I’m a gadget fan, so the novelty appeals to me - colored lights and all. My wife and guests just override the HA stuff, and the Sonos spouting weather reports only impresses me.

These companies have a tough sell ahead of them along with finding a sustainable business model.

(Bob Anderson) #4

Have to agree for the most part. However, I think there are a few use cases which are compelling:

  1. A whole house turn everything off switch by the exit doors. Especially with a family in a larger home, running around to make sure everything’s turned off is kind of ridiculous. The atomic action you want is all non-essentials off. One switch, boom, done. I think people would quickly find this indispensable once they had it.

  2. Proximity unlock of front door. I think most people recognize that the contortionist search for the keys with groceries in one hand and a kid in the other is silly. The door ought to unlock when I approach it. I think this is another one that would quickly become must-have once it was experienced. We already have this on our cars. Why not our homes?

I think these two features are compelling to the common homeowner and would have market traction if offered at a reasonable price point as options on a new home.

(Granboca) #5
  1. Reliability - We’re walking a bleeding edge. Things usually, but not always, work. Non-techies have no patience for instructions like "if the lights don’t automatically come on, go into the ST app, click on Lights and then click on “Master” and it should turn green and if that doesn’t work, open the Hue app and scroll down to the Master lights and slide the sliders…

  2. Consistency - My SmartThings is awesome, except when it’s not awesome, like when the bedroom lights all popped on at 4am the other night after the power blipped. I understood what happened, realized it was “just one of those things”, rolled over to find my phone. The non-techie sleeping beside me was not as forgiving and had some very unkind words about being awakened in the middle of the night.

  3. Simplicity - I am absolutely convinced that ST is the best HA platform right now. But the app is not for the faint of heart. Unless someone who cares nothing about “how” can open the app and quickly figure out what they want to do, there won’t be mass adoption. As I hear regularly, “I do not care, I just need some light in here”.