If you are going to upgrade your regular home into a smart home, you need to understand what mostly smart home do. At least, understand how it works. Because smart home is not just being smart and it means you need to do something to make your home smart.
If you want your smart bed to notice when you are awake, open your smart blinds, tune your smart audio system to Morning Edition, and tell your smart coffeemaker to start brewing, all of these devices need to communicate on the same radio frequency using the same protocols.
This time, many companies have built their smart home system. It’s like Apple HomeKit, Samsung’s Smart Things, Google’s Brillo, Lowe’s Iris, etc. They’re all using different protocols such as WiFi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.
Some devices can work across multiple languages and frequencies, but many don’t. So consumers will be left trying to figure out whether the new smart shower they just bought will talk to their smart water heater. Otherwise, they’ll end up with a bunch of incompatible devices and have to use a different smartphone app to control each one.
Sadly, CES 2016 offered no easy one-size-fits-all solution to this conundrum. Basically you have two options: Commit to one smart home ecosystem for everything, or rely on vendors to provide point-to-point connections between individual devices.
If you’re desperate to automate your entire home over the next 12 months (because, apparently, you have unlimited amounts of time and money), the smartest thing to do would be to go for devices that work with an open ecosystem, like SmartThings or AllJoyn. If you’re the all-Apple-all-the-time type, you’ll probably be happy sticking with HomeKit devices and adding new ones as they come along.
Smart home technology is getting smarter every year, but it just needs to learn how to play nicely with others.