Home automation systems are the latest phenomenon in homes right now. They supposedly make your life easier with their artificial intelligence being able to control your security systems, lights and so on. But are they right for every home? Or rather, are they really necessary or just a fad? You may find it tempting to automate your home, as it is undeniably convenient to control the security systems with your phone or switch the thermostat on, to come back to a cozy, warm home. But there are many drawbacks to the as yet imperfect automation systems which have limited AI. Here are some reasons why you might be better off without home automation:
Difficult to install
The home automation systems aren’t as easy to install as you’d think. If you try to install it yourself, it would take a lot of time, and if you hire a contractor to install it, it becomes an expensive affair. The installation itself can become a burden on you.
The technology is too complex
While automating everything in your home may seem appealing, you should think twice before doing it. It is far easier to flip on the switch than controlling it through an app on your phone. If your phone battery runs out, will your home be plunged into darkness? The manufacturers hopefully provide manual control too, but you need to think about putting all the controls in one place. What would be the consequences if the controller stops working? Besides, it would make you lazier than before, not even getting up and walking the few steps you used to walk within your home.
All systems are not compatible
In a completely automated home, you have to control it through a centralized platform. This sounds easy, but the problem is that many systems are not compatible with each other. In order that all your products can be controlled by one system, you have to buy compatible ones. So you may end up buying a product you don’t really like but are forced to buy it due to the issue of compatibility.
The cost of purchasing and installing an automation system is quite a lot, even though the price has come down. Buying and installing a home automation system and revamping your appliances to be compatible with the system will also add to your cost. Google Home and Amazon Echo are not very expensive, but it’s the add-ons which add to the cost. You need
special bulbs to control the lights, the connected refrigerators etc don’t come cheap either.
Smart products are often unreliable
Some of the smart devices, which cost a ton of money, need more advanced technology upgrades as currently, they are not as reliable as they should be. For example, a review of the Sleep Number Bed (It), which is connected to fitness trackers to measure sleep quality, suffers from inconsistencies related to data. If you are reading in bed, due to the movement of your hands while flipping pages, the mattress may rate your sleep quality as low. Similarly, if you have a weak wifi connection, your entire home automation goes for a toss.
Hackers hacking into your connected devices such as baby monitors, thermostats, toys, internet cameras, etc, through the common controlling hub is a major concern. Unknown to you, there might be undesirable people looking into your home.
The required inputs are not in place yet
The required data for an AI to be good is not there yet. The technology to detect the presence, computer vision etc, has a long way to go yet. Also, the power dynamics need to be understood by the AI, which is not possible yet. AI cannot understand which command to follow – an adult’s request or a 6 yr old’s request to play his favorite song yet again.
AIs need to be able to respond according to the changing and unique needs of every family. You may not want to be woken up at your regular time in the morning if your baby has kept you awake the whole night, neither do you want morning music to awaken your baby.
The many glitches in home automation need to be ironed out for it to be a regular feature in homes. Right now, you can do without an automated home, which might turn out to be more complicated, than your present ‘unsmart’ home.