Mobile App Not Always Enough When Providing Smart Home Solutions
While remote access is a great tool to have in a smart home offering, that’s not the only control option that should be offered.
There are many factors that play a role in smart home adoption by homeowners — energy efficiency, entertainment management, remote access, added convenience and enhanced security to name a few. The driving force may be different for everyone, but it’s safe to say there is always a great desire to live in a home that makes life easier and more enjoyable.
Being able to look in on cameras from your smart home while you’re away, lock or unlock doors remotely, even make the house appear occupied when you’re not there through lighting and entertainment devices activating in a random fashion — these are all very appealing aspects to homeowners.
While having the ability to access and control your home through an app is clearly a great benefit of owning a smart home, especially while you’re away. Having that be your only method of control is not necessarily ideal, especially while in the home. The point of interaction with your smart home changes depending on what you might be doing within it.
For instance, you may not want to fire up your app just to change a channel on the TV. In this case, a handheld remote is easier. If you want to quickly skip a Pandora channel that is playing throughout the house, a dedicated touch screen would allow you to do that much faster. And if you want to turn off every light in the house and arm the alarm all at once? A keypad on the wall offers up the simplest solution as you head out the door.
The point of contact in a smart home can come in many different forms, and while no single type of user interface is better than the other, each offers key benefits. For instance, keypads and remotes are simple and straightforward, a good tactile type of interface to use when you want to quickly turn on a group of lights, open drapes, lock the doors or activate the A/V gear in a home theater. Dedicated touch screens offer a beautiful on-screen display and always-on capability, so there is no lag time in firing up an app.
This is not true for all types of systems, as each manufacturer and type could provide varying control experience. In most cases, home automation integrators will help a homeowner decide which interfaces would benefit them the most based on the way they live and each device’s unique capabilities and features.
The convenience of the smart home does little good if it’s not easy to use. As we see more control methods expand, smart home adoption will also continue to advance. Ease of use is important for home control, and single-app control is not always ideal. Homeowners need – and deserve – a choice.
Bio: Brad Hintze is the director of product marketing at Control4.
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