Things We Wish Smart Home Devices Could Do

July 10, 2017

We live in a world where you can set up a “scene” in your smart home where the blinds open, the thermostat adjusts itself, and the coffee maker starts making coffee when you wake up in the morning. But you still cannot help but wonder whether these smart devices could do more or work more efficiently.

For example, the process involved in setting a scene can sometimes feel tedious and memorizing 10,000 Echo skills is impossible. Smart home devices have simplified our lives, but they still need some improvements. We’ve listed below some things we wish smart home devices could do:

Be members of the family

Smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo already know more about our family members and us than even our closest friends. Google Home has access to our email accounts and knows our preferences. It can even distinguish your voice from other voices now. They know enough to be real family members, but they still need some tweaking.

They should be able to distinguish between all your family members and frequent guests both visually and vocally. It would also be nice if the Echo could identify you using body temperature and even the rhythm of your heartbeat. These speakers could do this with the help of a small device you can wear around your wrist. Then you will be able to walk into a room and shout “lights,” and the system responds by turning on the lights according to your favorite light mood or brightness. A Google Home or Echo that can do this will truly become a member of the family.

Intelligent conversations

While the most popular smart speakers can answer your questions, they lack the ability to have a real conversation with you. A real conversation would especially be helpful if you are a student looking for ideas for finishing your paper or if you are a cook looking for ideas for a new recipe.

Currently, to communicate with Echo’s Alexa you have to know the “skills” that triggers it to do a particular action. You also have to construct your questions in a certain way for Alexa or Google Home to answer them. The responses they give you also depend on their ability to search the web thoroughly to find the answer you need.

For example, if you ask Google or Siri “which types of food do doctors recommend for diabetic patients” they are more likely to give you a list of websites you should look at to find the answer. Amazon’s Alexa has a very limited web search capability and may not give you any answer to that question. It will take time before these devices can give you direct answers or have a natural conversation with you to a point where you think you are talking to another human being.

Highly sensitive and intelligent light bulbs

You probably have experienced that one smart light bulb that always blinks and has to be reset all the time. The issue could be that the bulb has not been paired correctly with a hub, which in some cases is a long process.

While there are smart light bulbs that do not need a hub to work. We still wish there was a smart light bulb that was sensitive enough not to require manual pairing or even a dedicated app. A smart bulb that could scan your home and identify your Amazon Echo and somehow connect with it automatically without your intervention will be a welcome addition. Imagine a Philips Hue or a Lifx bulb that automatically connects to your blinds and sets a preferred scene.

Efficient motion sensors

Some motion sensors fit on your door or windows to detect when somebody is trying to get into your house. These wireless devices often come battery powered, and you can easily install them in any room in your home. They are also sometimes built into cameras like the Nest line of cameras to enhance their security capabilities.

But their dependence on battery power means that you have to check them regularly for functionality. What if those sensors could draw power to their rechargeable batteries without any cables? Wireless charging is becoming a thing, and it should only be a matter of time before wireless motion sensor developers utilize the same concept.

Additionally, motion sensors use radio waves for the sensor to communicate with the alarm. That means the alarm and sensor must be within the communication range for them to work properly. Any area out of that radio range becomes vulnerable to intruders. This changes if the motion sensor communication range is made much stronger so that it covers your home entirely. It’d also be great if each room needed only one motion sensor instead of several for every door or window.

These are just some of the things we wish automation developers would work on to enhance the smart home experience. For more information about home automation, please visit our website today.


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