SmartHome technology has come a long way. It’s still not for everyone, but some of the common myths people use to avoid smart home technology aren’t true. Smart homes don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t always listen to you, for example.
Myth: smart homes are expensive
Smart Homes may be expensive, especially if you opt for a custom build designed specifically for your home. But they don’t must be expensive.
It’s easy to start small and then build from there piece by piece. A great way to do this is to pick up inexpensive smart bulbs and see what you think. Then you may want to consider adding a sensor or two. If you’re more comfortable with electricity, you can install smart switches to control multiple light bulbs, and it’s a little more than an inexpensive smart light bulb.
It’s best to keep an eye out for offers. Voice assistants such as Echo and Google Home often go on sale. Even if the cost does increase, it’s easy to spread it out over time, so you feel less of a sting. You don’t have to buy every gadget, and you certainly don’t have to buy them all at once!
RELATED: How to build your first smart home (without getting overwhelmed)
Myth: smart homes always listen to you
If you become a Smarthome owner, or at least a Voice Assistant user, you will often hear this. But this is not at all the case, at least not in the way people fear. Voice Assistant devices like Alexa and Google Home are always listening. But they only listen to their wake word (like «Alexa» or «Hey Google»).
This Wake word is processed locally, and until the device hears those specific words, it doesn’t send anything to Amazon or Google. Once they recognize the awakened word, they process the next command and then send it to the cloud for processing. If these devices were to record everything they heard and send it to the cloud, you would see a spike in network usage that would be easy to spot.
How easy? When the early Google Home mini review unit was malfunctioning and recording constantly, the tech reviewer who got it caught on fairly quickly. This was, of course, unintentional, and Google quickly corrected the situation. But the point is that the near-permanent entry is noticeable even to those who are not security researchers.