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Avoiding the "Smart Home from Hell"

Dec 18 2015
Smart home technology makes life easier and more convenient—when you do it right. But what about when you do it less-than-right?

It causes frustration - even for the tech savvy reporters at CNET.

It starts small.  An app that doesn't quite customize the way you'd like it, or a device that doesn't play well with others.  When you "go it alone" on a smart home - an experience that CNET is road-testing with its CNET Smart Home project - working around these issues on your own is part of the experience.

The problem is that, as you buy different devices/apps/hubs, then try to program them all to work together, those small imperfections combine and snowball into major problems.



There is another, better way, to build your smart home. You can get a platform like Alarm.com that powers all the devices in your home so they work together without you having to program or configure them.  And it's installed and supported by an expert service provider.

As the CNET team added more and more standalone devices to their smart home, simple tasks like adding a new user turned into all-day efforts. Devices aren't working together (or at all) and the frustration has mounted.  From CNET's latest update: 

  • "The app on her phone wouldn't pair with the lock."
  • "Megan was using an iPhone tied to an account that hadn't been linked to mine yet."
  • "The setup worked great—until we started trying to control it from more than one device."
  • "It wasn't until I deleted the app and reinstalled it that our four switches showed up."
  • "So. Many. Passwords."
To be fair, the CNET Smart Home is designed as a technical proving ground for devices and apps. And yet, as they explain, it isn't that far removed from the typical go-it-alone smart home scenario.

For the ordinary homeowner, there needs to be an easier way.