Current adopters of home automation remind me of those who like to restore old cars. They enjoy the tinkering and frustration but ultimately they want to drive their creation and get waves as people drive by. But that is not how most people get a car. They don’t assemble it, source the parts, feel the pain of it not working and having to start over. They go to a dealership, buy the finished product, and just want it to work, with so little user effort in fact that getting a flat tire is covered under roadside assistance.
Simple dichotomies like… “Smart Bulb vs. Smart Switch” can turn off a first time adopter and create frustration. Someone buys a Hue bulb and can’t wait to use it to only figure out after the fact, wait… I can’t use the switch. Or a consumer buys 20 WiFi bulbs because they’re cheap and they want app control. But no one told them they wouldn’t work so well while streaming Netflix. That’s why they wanted smart bulbs to begin with, so they could change the lights at movie time. It gets worse though, the company goes out of business and didn’t pay their cloud bill. Now what?
I have a vivid recollection of installing my first HP USB printer. I plugged it in, it auto discovered, installed the driver, and was ready to print in 60 seconds. I touched nothing and literally put both hands in the air and shouted a big “Woohoo”. No dip switches, no configuring com ports, no floppy installation disks, it was like magic.
This is where the industry needs to be and until it gets there, the sector will be limited to enthusiasts and hobbyist. Fortunately my kids have no idea what a dip switch is, so I have faith it will get there.