Welcome to the home of the future! It’s wonderful in here. Come in and join us — take a look around! Everything works seamlessly and smoothly. The appliances in the kitchen are internet enabled, warming themselves up in anticipation of your dinner. The fridge knows what it’s stocked with and when you’ve run out of ketchup. It’s wonderful here! It’s not the reality unfortunately.
While companies like LG can make smarter appliances, getting the smart home as connected as companies envision it is far from the future. The scenario is great: Imagine if that smart smoke detector in the kitchen could do so much more than just alert YOU about problems. What if it pinged the police when it smelled smoke? What if it turned off the smart range in the kitchen, when it determined that it was the source of the problem? And started the Big Ass Fan in the living room to pull the smoke away. Some day, perhaps.
Today the range of competing standards is more the challenge than anything else. SmartThings from Samsung, Google’s Brillo and Weave, the Works with Nest program, Zigbee and Zwave and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – each one wants to be the backbone of this world, and none of these standards work well together.
Meanwhile, companies keep pushing ahead with new products that fit the bill. Corning introduced a new form of Gorilla Glass that could be used on the doors of fridges or counters (or even car consoles) to smarten any surface. Sleep Number introduced a new sensor-filled bed that that syncs with other apps to move info about you out of the bedroom. Whirlpool introduced dishwashers and washing machines that order detergent for you when you run out. And so on and so on.
It’ll be great when these things work together. Meanwhile? Enjoy the vision.