Editorial: Things I’ve learned from a “smart house”

In the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing some more nifty internet connected gadgets that turn your currently dumb home into something… different. Here, as I hang out with everyone asleep on a Friday night (with this publishing sometime,) are the new and interesting problems I’ve had introduced into my life with some smart gadgetry.

Smart bulbs

Smart BulbsI picked up three of these RGBW smart a21 lightbulbs on Amazon, own money spent, because they connected with Google Home/Assistant and I just have always wanted some. I may have a review of these later, but I have reviews I’ve promised to write, so those get priority. Right now – dim, but fun.

I can tell Google Home to turn on the lights, turn them off, make the room blue, it’s cool. My kids love it.

Derrrr: if the internet goes out I’m in the dark (assuming I last turned the lights off) “OK google, turn the lights on” “I can’t connect to the internet right now…”

I also have about a one in five chance of any voice assistant understanding me because a kid literally always starts talking and if one hears me, I hear screams of “ok google turn the lights pink… PINK GOOGLE PINK”.

This is not the bulb’s fault.

Smart switches

These are less of an issue than the bulbs are because if the internet is down most of them have a little button to turn the switch on manually.

Derrr: That said, while I thought smart switches would be amazing, what I found in the past is if something goes wrong with the internet and you’ve got say a plant light or plant-air purifier going you might just kill your plants.

Slight update to that 10 month old article – there’s new growth in the purifier now so evidently I just killed MOST of that plant.

Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrr: I reviewed a smart plug a while back, it just had a firmware update, I now have a manual switch with no way to update it and a support email that bounces every time.

Smart coffee maker

This is a friend’s complaint, and that’s “what better way to wake up in the morning to find no internet due to a router needing rebooted with your morning cup of absolutely nothing”.

I’m assuming that must be device specific. Others have to have a timer right?

Smart door locks

OK, I’ve sent the code, it’s 1..2..3..4. It’s not working? OK, try again, I re-sent the code. Still no? oh it’s dead is it? OK key’s above the door frame. Yes, where the wasps’ nest is.

Smart toilet

My iPood review will drop once the “embargo” does. Long story short a DNS issue can trigger a bidet while you’re … nevermind.

Smart thermostat

I’m lucky. I never had any real trouble with my Nest. That said, a lot of people froze their asses off when they couldn’t connect to the internet/wifi.

Fitness trackers

I’ve currently got a watch that won’t sync and a leg band that makes me look like I’m on house arrest. Half the time I attempt to use the leg band there’s yet another issue where somehow my account has to be logged in to sync, and somehow my account is tied to another device (it’s not).

Sad but true, 2018 I’ve spent more time fighting bad software on the fitness trackers than they’ve actually tracked my fitness.

Smart electricity monitor

I’ve tested the Eyedro and the Sense Energy Monitor. You know what, after some setup time I’m pretty pleased with both. Eyedro caught the times a huge energy spike was happening, Sense managed to help me pinpoint another.

Smart refrigerator

Man I wish I was bloggy enough for someone to send me one.

While none of this came from them, I feel I should give a shout out to @internetofsherp who cover many things similar.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts