How smart is your home? Can you ask your fridge what you need to buy? If it’s so smart, then why didn’t the fridge check for what’s missing or low on supply, then contact Walmart or Amazon or Target and have them deliver it to you?
The truth about the smart home is obviously ugly. The smart home is stupid. About the best we can get these days is an app that turns lights off and on, or a query to Siri and Alexa about weather or traffic, or have HomePod play something by a particular artist or start a playlist.
How smart is that? Not very. The ugly truth about the smart home is that it isn’t very smart. It’s stupid. Says who?
Google’s VP of Product and General Manager at Google Nest, Google’s smart home stuff.
We actually think it’s the wrong word, we actually do think it’s a very tech-oriented way of thinking about the home
Maybe the term smart home is not so good because the smart home is really pretty stupid.
Ugly truth, indeed.
Alright, if we are not going to have smart homes, what will the future bring?
We want to go from what a technology does to where it actually provides benefit. And so our mantra for the next five to 10 years is going to be the notion of how we can help deliver the helpful home
Helpful home? Sure. That’s better.
Maybe there’s a good reason Apple has not jumped into Home Kit and the smart home industry as much as we hoped because it’s a really big nut to crack. Think about it. How many gadgets are in your home?
Just looking around I see lights, TV, fridge, dishwasher, oven and range, microwave, air conditioner, sofa and chairs, bed and dressers, front door and back door, and, well, you get the idea?
How do you make those devices and furniture items smart? Oh. Sorry. Helpful.
You need different sensors and inputs and outputs across all the different rooms inside your house. And to the consumer, it needs to feel like one.
Agreed, but this is starting to sound more like someone trying to sell me something that will cost me more money.
Here is an example.
Our last bed was one of those pillow top mattresses and it was wonderful. Not technology; just easy sleeping. For $2,000. Then it wore out.
The replacement is all high tech. The head lifts and the foot lifts and can be positioned up and down with a little remote control until the cows come home (note: we don’t really have cows). Now, there is an iPhone app which can do what the remote does. Handy, right? Helpful, right?
One of the things that we’ve been spending a lot of time on is how do we rethink the privacy model. Google I/O saw announcements of our first set of privacy commitments, of what we believe Google Nest is going to stand for from a privacy standpoint. The goal was to simplify how we talk about these things. So we want to provide a lot of clear transparency about it.
Or, a different name. The name doesn’t really matter because all this high technology in the home would be more helpful if everything worked and was tied to apps on my iPhone or became helpful from a voice command to Siri.
That would be helpful. Nobody does that yet. Smart homes are still stupid. That’s the ugly truth.