4 Ways a Smart Home Can Be Stupid

4 Ways a Smart Home Can Be Stupid

The following contribution is from another author.

Interior design goes through trends, and the latest one is to decorate with technology. Streamlining every inch of the home with a hub and an internet connection is cool and practical at the same time. Plus, it’s a statement of intent – you’re a homeowner who knows their stuff and invests in the future.

Smart homes should add value, hence the name. But, like everything in life, there are side-effects property owners and interior design enthusiasts should be aware of. Smart homes aren’t always intelligent; sometimes, they can be a stupid thing to have.

Here are four times when it’s not clever to invest in household technology.

If It’s Uncomfortable

Gadgets aren’t made to be comfortable. Yes, they are supposed to take the hassle out of mundane tasks yet that doesn’t mean they are warm and welcoming. Made from aluminum and carbon fiber, they are sharp and cold and inhospitable.  An under-counter table and slimmed down furniture to spring to mind. Your home should be a place to sit and relax, a place where you can relieve stress, which is why tech may not always be the best solution. Oversized bean bags will add the coziness smart features take away, as will a simple armchair and throw cushion combination. When style trumps substance, nobody wins.

If It’s Creepy

It’s creepy because it’s listening in to your conversations. Yep, even a fridge can have ears and record your every move. Okay, there isn’t evidence to suggest the camera on your smart TV is being used illicitly; however, it is possible. Even if intelligence services aren’t honing in on you, there’s the problem of data retention. Alexa or Google Home or any other type of software logs many things you do and keeps tabs to ensure the best user experience. For people who are privacy-conscious, this is an invasion and isn’t acceptable. If you fall into this category, you might want to reconsider.

If It Doesn’t Work

Not every piece of software or hardware works in perfect harmony. If anything, it’s the opposite as manufacturers want you to buy their products, so they make it tough to sync programs. As a result, competing software is tricky to hook up and won’t work without specific instructions. The battle between Apple and Android is a good example. Some things non-Apple related won’t connect and your smart home could be a dud. So, if you have a plethora of gadgets from different sources, which usually is the case, you will struggle to link them all.

If It’s Expensive

Although technology has become more affordable in recent years, even the cheapest gadgets cost upward of $50. Considering a smart home is a comprehensive automation system, you likely won’t be hooking up just a few products. For the full effect, you need to control everything from the thermostat to the lights to the locks on the doors. The final cost could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Homeowners who don’t have the money to go all in, should take a hard look at the costs before dipping their toes as they may not get the full effects of a smart home.


Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).