The state of the connected home

For the better part of this year, I’ve been looking at ways to make our home smarter, more efficient and as a result connected.

Our home devices are cumbersome and clunky for the most part. 

It’s no wonder Nest is so compelling. It took a dumb, ignored device and made it great. Reminds me of the state of the MP3 market before the iPod came along and blew us all away.

Besides the thermostat there are so many other devices in our homes that are equally hard to use and disconnected. 

Your remote control, cable box, electrical system, lighting system, heating system, appliances, phone systems etc haven’t changed in decades. Either you spend a lot of money on an expensive, closed home automation system or you live with the status quo.

We have an ADT alarm system in our house. I heard they have a feature called Pulse so you can control and manage the system from a mobile device. 

I called ADT about it a few ago. I got transferred a few times. The customer service person was confusing. Here is what I learned: I have to get a box that will be professionally installed (truck roll). My monthly bill goes up by $10 or $15 per month (not clear). The box costs $399 but I’m told I called at a “good time” and I can get it for $99. I also have to agree to a 3 year contract — no exceptions. Can I pay more for the box so I don’t have to sign a 3 year contract? No.

Ok, I’ll try it anyway.

So came to my house last week and the nice fellow said he couldn’t install it because the Pulse system was down.

Another appointment, another truck roll. 

I am rooting so damn hard for startups like August, Nest, SmartThings, and others, to come into our homes and shake up this market.