On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Curtis called into our voicemail hotline with two interesting questions. He recently built a new house with all of the smart home bells and whistles from Amazon, Ring, and Lutron but wondered why there isn’t a single source to help plan a smart home ecosystem including the interface and compatibility. Curtis is also concerned about the reliance of WiFi in the smart home since if you lose your internet connection, cloud-based devices can go from smart to dumb immediately.
Curtis has a valid point when it comes to connected devices for both new and older homes: It seems like there aren’t many resources for smart home planning. But there are options homeowners may not know about such as CEDIA Pros who are professionally trained in the arts of home entertainment and smart devices. Control4 is also a potential choice, as the company offers complete end-to-end smart home support from planning and installation to integrating multiple vendor services into a single interface. These approaches will cost more than the DIY approach, but for some, the expense may be worth it.
Another less expensive option to consider is trying the smart home services offered by either Amazon or BestBuy. For example, Amazon will send a qualified consultant to your home to review your requirements, install devices and even set up automations. The downside is that if you don’t want to be completely in Amazon’s ecosystem, this isn’t for you. Best Buy is more platform-agnostic here so you can mix and match between devices and services for your smart home.
In terms of WiFi reliance for connected devices, that’s actually been changing for the better of late.
Google announced local control APIs for developers last year, for example, although it’s still in a developer preview. Additionally, some local control support has been added to hubs such as Wink and Samsung SmartThings so that when the internet shuts down, your smart lights don’t.
The Hubitat Elevation Hub is fully local for many supported devices. And device makers themselves, such as Philips Hue and Lutron, have integrated local control recently. Look for more advances here in 2020 as developers adopt new APIs for local control.
To hear Curtis’ question, as well as our discussion in full, tune in to the IoT Podcast below.