January 21, 2014
Did you ever think that you could get excited about your thermostat? We have to admit, we did and either we need to get out more, or a company has come along and finally made this mundane everyday household item something worth talking about. They have.
We really feel that the implementation of technology in our homes is in its infancy. Don’t get us wrong, there is plenty of fantastic technology out there for our homes, but the mass appeal has been stifled by the lack of infrastructure and high cost.
It’s interesting for us to look at the landscape today and see what technologies have been successful and why. Why is other technology unsuccessful, or slow to be adopted? On the success side, obviously, is the Smart Phone. Why did this catch on so fast? Simple, it’s subsidized. You go in to your local mobile phone store, sign a piece of paper, and get a new phone that costs $800 for a mere $100. Some may call this selling your soul to the devil but technology would not be where it is today if things were different. Other technologies have not been so lucky, and fall into the slow to be adopted category. The first plasma screen TV we saw in a store back in 1998 cost $30,000 and we all know how that turned out. Sixteen long years later and we just got one for free with our new bed. Like it or not, the subsidization of mobile phones by the service providers has catapulted the technology 10 years into the future from where it would have been if we had to pay full price for our beloved phones.
What does my mobile phone have to do with technology in the home you may ask? A lot! Now we have a common user interface that everyone can work from. Think of it this way... remember back in the day when you had a remote for your TV, VCR, Amplifier and DVD and CD player? Each remote or user interface did only one task. Very helpful, as you did not have to get up to change the channel, but a bit confusing when the grandparents came over to house-sit for you. Then a company came out with the universal remote. One user interface for a multitude of tasks. Genius! This is what the Smart Phone has done, but in a big way. A really big way.
Now that we have control, what do we control? The market is being filled with start-ups trying to answer this question for you. We are going to start to see everyday mundane objects like thermostats be much more than a dial on the wall. These things will now be interactive. You might say really? How on earth can I interact with my thermostat and why would I want to?
All good questions. In the months to come we will be featuring useful technology for your home that can be easily integrated into your everyday life. Get ready to have a conversation with your dishwasher!