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Smarthome Basics Show Notes

Show Notes



Hey, It's Jazmin and this is Living digital. Where we talk about apps, technology, marketing and innovation. As I said, I'm Jazmin, digital resident and explorer. Today we will take a look at the Smarthome.  A growing industry and path to the futuristic utopia often depicted in science fiction.

One of my past projects involved research and strategy for a Smarthome Microsite. The research shows that many people don't know what a Smarthome is. So today, we are going to look at the basics.

What does the Smarthome do? Well, it enables you to connect devices and appliances in your home so they can communicate with each other and with you. When I say devices, I'm referring to lights, speakers, locks, and basically any device that plugs in. This may sound like simple home automation, which has been around for a long time, but after smartphone home control became a thing back in 2010 the possibilities continue to be endless.

Ok, close your eyes and picture this, unless you're driving…or walking. You wake up, put your feet on the floor, and suddenly Bob Marley (or insert artist) begins to play in every room, the blinds open, your pet feeder dispenses breakfast for your dog Pookie, you smell your coffee being made and begin a productive wonderful day. But wait did you leave the iron plugged in? Just check on your phone and take care of it then and there. Mid day you look at your phone and see that your sister came by to take Pookie for a walk. All is well. After your day has completed, you pull up to your house, the door unlocks itself, your lights have been set to recreate an island sunset, and the temperature has been set exactly the way you like it. *sigh*

You gotta love when things fall into place on their own. It's only going to get faster, easier and more predictive as the tech community continues to explore.

Now here's the "who's who" and what's what.  First there is the technology. Companies like X10, Insteon, ZigBee and Z-Wave provide only the fundamental tech called protocols, for smart home communication. They've created alliances with electronics manufacturers who actually build the end-user devices. Next are hubs. Hubs like Revolv, Staples connect, Smart Things, quirky, and Belkin unify your home automation products under one app. So you can easily customize and modify your Smarthome experience. Third, are the important brands that you need to know. There's Nest the learning thermostat. Their claim to fame is that is learns your temperature preferences, saves energy and can be controlled from anywhere on your phone. The Smarthome is definitely more than apps and automation. A big part of the appeal are the analytics capabilities. The phrase "data collection can be a scary phrase and might remind you of any number of scifi thrillers this point it's being used to predict certain aspects of everyday life in order to provide comfort. If there is a look of utter terror on your face, this high tech life style probably isn't for you.

So, who exactly is it for? Well, early adopters are the Google glass wearing, iPhone 12 carrying, Apple keynote watching types. But an article in the International Business Times, shows that the audience is a wide one. This includes young professionals, families with kids and eventually even seniors who will shift to "in home aging" down the line. The other high profile Smarthome brands include Dropcam and Hue. I'm not going to go into how it works today but they are a couple of the big hitters introducing the concept of a Smarthome to the general population.

We have reached the disclaimer portion of our program. Number one. Product compatibility. This industry is still in it's infancy, so there isn't a standard to apply to all products. Until we do, we just have to use different phone apps for different products. The good news is hubs are the start of bridging products together so for example, you can control your Smart Light bulbs as well as your Nest thermostat. Disclaimer number 2.As I mentioned before, this lifestyle isn't for the tech averse. But in the way of innovation, certain {word] become the standard. Homes and even cities can become smarter. 10 years from now, if the only products they make are products for the smart home if the folks who aren’t crazy about this may have to conform down the line. The final disclaimer is ease of installation. I expect the Smarthome device installation market to skyrocket. Installing Smarthome devices can be very complex. But hey, sometimes things have to be hard in order to make things easier