In the aftermath of the resignation of Tony Faddell who was the founder of the smart thermostat Nest the future is more unclear than ever when people consider smart homes and the nature of the market in general. The Nest company was for all intensive purposes seen as a kind of avant garde of an inevitable trend in home appliances in general. When Google paid out $3.2 billion to buy them in 2014 it was seem as a move that made a lot of sense given the hysteria that surrounded the industry. All of these developments severed the smart home market. Its sounded pretty good on the surface to have all of your appliances connected, like your thermostats, lights, oven, and security systems all operating and anticipating our every move.
When realty set in however, it has been something much less spectacular, a fractured market of these buggy appliances that work with some, but not all of your systems at once.
And maybe, just maybe, most tellingly, despite all of these glaring public problems New was still facing no single company has positioned itself to be an opponent to Nest, in fact they are the only one of their kind, and still failing. What this shows is that its not a shortcoming of the product why they are failing, its merely a lack of interest on the part of the industry in general. What I mean is that if anyone wanted this stuff, Nest would at least remain a float in some sense given their sole position in the market, yet the do not.
Beyond the early adopters, consumers right now are having a lot of trouble getting abroad the smart home train, but can you really blame them ? For many people who don’t have the time to sort out whether their light bulb is going to take their smart speaks and in an sense to come up with a passwords for all of those accounts independently. The smart home still seems like something out of science fiction, but when you look at it as it stands today its just a crappier and slower, more pours version of just getting up and flicking the switch yourself. In fact, you are still flicking a switch, you just have to make sure your phone is one, and is also connected to the internet, while also making sure your next is on and connected to the same Wi-Fi.
The problem I see with a lot of smart home things is that it tried to do what we already do today but just add more steps. Tech is suppose to make our lives easier and faster, not more complicated and cumbersome. If the smart home is going to take off it needs to targets to aim for, and there needs to be a fundamental rethinking of smart homes and what we want out of them in general. In many ways this is a large task to ask, and to say that it won’t ever happen is naive. However, what we do know for certain is that the way we understand the smart home today will never be a reality.