This week could end up being a turning point in the almost decade-long effort to make the smart home a reality. When I started covering the Internet of Things in 2012, everyone was thrilled to take the power of smartphones and link them up to everyday devices as a source of remote control (WeMo outlets, for example) or as a way to access the everyday device’s intelligence (such as with Nest thermostats).
But whatever we hoped the smart home would become, it has not. Devices are still dependent on phones, third-party integrations, individual partnerships, and companies choosing which devices they will support. Products are too expensive, users are confused, and security is an abysmal mess. As a result, people are cautious about connected homes or, in some cases, actively turning away from them.