Smart Home Technology: DIY or Professional Integration?
Smart Home technology May be Consumer Friendly, but Sometimes You Need a Professional
Smart home technology is everywhere these days. The success of voice assistants like Alexa, Google, and Siri has helped capture the popular imagination of what new technology can do to make consumers’ lives easier. You want smart lighting control? There are solutions like Philips Hue available at Home Depot and elsewhere. You want a smart thermostat? You can get a Nest or Ecobee – besides enhancing comfort and saving energy; they also look good on the wall! You want music everywhere? There are Sonos and HEOS systems that can bring wireless stereo sound to every room in your home. There are smart cameras like Arlo to monitor your home, video doorbells from Ring, smart locks from Schlage and Kwikset, and automated shades from Hunter-Douglas and Lutron. All these (relatively) consumer-friendly products have created great awareness of the level to which consumers can automate their home or space.
While these products will work fine to do what they do, the consumer effectively becomes their own integrator. If they want to get into a higher level of integration of these systems, things will get more complicated for them. If they have a large house and they want it all to integrate seamlessly, they may run into some difficulties. A few things that consumers may not be considering when looking at some of these products:
- Do the products have the capacity to keep adding more devices and capabilities for each area in the home?
- Do they have strong security features to prevent hacking and misuse?
- Control from a smartphone or tablet is great, but how many apps and different interfaces will they have to navigate to do more than one task?
- Do they have a robust network infrastructure to handle all the connected devices? Do they understand that some wireless devices may interfere with others? How much bandwidth is needed to stream 4K video on all of their TVs, laptops, tablets, and phones?
- Do all the devices they want to add work with their chosen ecosystem, i.e., Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, or Apple Home?
- Does the consumer realize they are their own tech support department?
Why Professional Integrators are Important
The professional integrator will start with an assessment of what the consumer wants to do, as opposed to pitching a particular technology as a solution. A strong professional will:
- Design a system as simple or complex as it needs to be to meet the consumer’s desires
- Recommend the technologies and products – which may include the consumer automation products mentioned above – that will work best now and in the future
- Design a system that can scale with increasing needs (more monitoring, devices, etc.)
- Decide on the technology standards and platforms – open, proprietary or combinations - that will best address the client’s needs.
- Offer support capabilities, so there is someone to call if something isn’t working or something needs to be added to the system.
Armed with the right tools, like One Firefly’s CM 2.0 Content Marketing and Review Champ, you can convince your potential clients of the value of hiring a professional for their Smart Home project. To learn more about how we can help, give us a call today. Contact Us Here!
Author: Ben Algaze
Title: Content Writer
About Author: As a Content Writer at One Firefly, Ben is responsible for supporting One Firefly clients by producing engaging web content in the form of blogs, press releases, social media updates, newsletters and case studies. Ben holds a Bachelor’s in computer science and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and has held a number of technical and business roles in the computer industry. When not thinking about wordsmithing content, he likes to read and write about technology and politics, hike, bike, and listen to music.