smart product Any gadget or device with a built-in Internet connection. When you accumulate a few to improve your daily living conditions, you can claim to have a smart home (some prefer to call it home automation).

And yet, although the trend in smart homes is growing, is it worth joining it? Many of these products seem cool and sleek at first glance. but there are problems and drawbacks that you should be aware of — problems that can completely disconnect you from the whole concept.

1. Smart products aren’t always convenient…

The ultimate goal of the smart home revolution and technology in general is to make your life easier. Ideally, smart homes will eventually allow you to live at home without having to worry about cooking, making coffee, doing laundry, or wasting energy. Everything will be automated.

But we are far from this picturesque future.

Take lighting, for example. You can set up a smart lighting set that turns on automatically when you enter a room and turns off when you leave — but there’s a lot of initial setup to get it to work. Is it worth worrying when you can flip a light switch instead?

Image Credit: Image via Shutterstock
Image Credit: Image via Shutterstock

Really, learning curves are a big problem for smart products, mainly because each product is unique. Nest (UK) thermostat training does not make the process of setting up a smart door lock or smart garden sprinkler easier.

Not to mention about the mess . Each smart home device usually comes with its own dedicated app that needs to be used to control said devices. If you buy 10 different gadgets, then you will need to touch 10 apps. What about physical disorder? Do you really need an Amazon Echo Dot in every room?

And to add insult to injury, most smart devices have terrible user interfaces . This is one of the reasons why smart TVs crashed and burned. — if the product is not very comfortable to use, or if it is not so easy to use, then you are probably not going to use it and it will just collect dust.

2.… and convenience is not always worth it

Now, to be fair, some smart products do deliver on their promises of utility. The Nest thermostat is one such example that not only makes your home climate control work easier, but also helps you save money in the process.

However, many smart products are hardly better than their «dumb» counterparts. I wouldn’t even say that smart devices are just gimmicks or anything, but I will say that most smart products are way too expensive for what they offer.

smart home robot vacuum

The robot vacuum cleaner is a good example: the modern Roomba currently costs anywhere from $300 to $1,000, while a traditional vacuum cleaner can be purchased for $30-$100. Is automation worth 10 times as much? We don’t think that

In truth, many smart products try to «do it all» and in end up at a low level. . Why pay hundreds more for a smart fridge that can surf the web when you already have a phone, tablet, and computer that can do it more efficiently? Do you need a «smart» smoke detector when a «mute» one is just as effective?

In general, if you are smart about what you buy, then a smart home will absolutely not kill your wallet. But you really have to be careful when weighing the value proposition of a smart device. Sometimes the extra benefits aren’t worth it.

3. Smart products are prone to failure.

From time to time I turn on my smart TV and get the message «App X will be discontinued…» meaning that some companies no longer care about supporting their smart TV app. When I first got my smart TV years ago, it had hundreds of apps. Now it’s only dozens.

The smart home industry is still in its infancy. which means things are changing rapidly – ​​and as the landscape changes, some apps and devices will inevitably be left behind.

We’ve seen dozens of product ideas come and go on Kickstarter, most of which never came to fruition. And of the smart devices that do come out, many end up being discontinued. (Both products come to mind — Staples Connect Hub and Amazon Echo Dot [ Великобритания ].)

Image Credit: Black Jack via Shutterstock
Image Credit: Black Jack via Shutterstock

Obsolescence is a notable problem in the technology industry, but noticeably worse in the smart home space. It’s not that these companies practice planned obsolescence — at least not yet — but you never know when a company might shut down its servers, and that’s always a big risk.

For example, one of the benefits of getting a smart security camera is that the footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud storage provided by the manufacturer. If this service is terminated, you lose one of its biggest features — and you may even lose all of your footage.

You can mitigate this risk somewhat by sticking to only trusted smart home brands, but even then the risk is big enough that you can’t just ignore it.

4. Security and privacy concerns are real

For many, it may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. How would you feel if the government could listen in on your private conversations with the microphone on your Amazon Echo? Or what if they could watch you through your smart TV’s camera?

Or worse, what about hackers?

These fears are common when it comes to internet-connected devices, but what’s really scary is that these fears aren’t just paranoia. They have roots in reality. Anything connected to the Internet in general can be eavesdropped or hacked.

Photo Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

Some of the risks are not so obvious. Installing security cameras throughout your home can improve your sense of security and well-being, but if hackers gain access to these cameras, they will know exactly when you are at home and when you are not, providing them with a great burglary opportunity.

And if you think the NSA isn’t listening, you might want to think again: » As the world moves towards the Internet of Things these kinds of privacy breaches are becoming more common. Not to mention the other security risks associated with it. !

How do you feel about smart homes?

No one can tell you what to do — the decision is yours. All we can do is provide you with as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

Are we excited about smart homes? You put. We want to see where it all leads? Absolutely. But will we practice skepticism and caution? Yes Yes Yes Weigh the scale and tell us where you landed.

Are you aboard the Hype-Train smart home? Or have you recently jumped off the bandwagon? Where do you think smart products will eventually take us? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image Credits: gualtiero boffi / Shutterstock

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