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Smart home technology is exciting, but is it right for you?

Users are typically first attracted to smart homes and smart products for the convenience and automation aspect. These are undeniably great features, as home automation can save alot of time, money and effort.

But despite the excitement of home automation technology, people’s perception of home automation remains limited. It’s not just about connecting things to the Internet, it’s about connecting the home and creating a lifestyle that benefits the user.

Ultimately, the products that stick around and become embedded features in our lives are the ones that take intelligent technology to the next level.

A recent study by RMIT University investigated the way smart technology must go beyond home automation if it is to have any real impact on a user’s power bills. The project aimed to explore the potential for enabling technologies, such as smart home control devices, to assist households in managing or reducing their energy demand in response to changing market reforms in the Australian residential electricity sector.

Many smart devices promise the world, but RMIT’s outcomes showed that the ones that actually deliver are those that incorporate fully with the user’s lifestyle, handing them control and thus delivering results.

Their recommendations?

‘One size does not fit all.’

 cityscape with bright lights

RMIT’s report looks into exploring the potential for smart technologies to benefit energy vulnerable and other households.

When planning for residential demand response programs in the changing energy market, it’s crucial to understand and respect that each household and each user is unique.

Different people ultimately engage with their energy in different ways, and thus the most important solution to combing energy and smart technologies is an agnostic one. Users want to save money, but they want to do it on their own terms, by taking the power back into their hands.

With the flood of new smart technology, it’s crucial to consider the value of an agnostic platform. And at carbonTRACK, we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all in the smart home industry.

What does being tech agnostic actually mean?

Similar to the religious use of the word, agnosticism in tech simply means an unbiased approach to technology – using different technological tools to solve different problems.

The rapid evolution of smart technology has – inevitably – given rise to several solutions from an endless array of providers to help make running your business or looking after your home simpler and more cost efficient. You can now choose to solve different home automation problems with tailored solutions from many different providers instead of needing to stick with a single brand.

Because each home or business is unique, by remaining technology agnostic, you lower your risk of getting locked into a particular solution that can end up delivering less value than you bargained for, or costing you more to switch brands or providers down the road.

Why is it important to adopt an agnostic approach to smart technology?

While a lot of home automation products or brands may offer the similar services (voice activation, controlling lighting, controlling home automation), the specificities can differ widely.

Some brands will let you a product to your shopping list through voice activation, but don’t give you the ability to switch your lights on and off. Some will let you remotely control your air-con but not offer security solutions.

Why is this a problem?

By committing completely to one brand, you lock yourself in to one particular service and the all the pros and cons that come along with that particular service.

For example, your kitchen isn’t completely decked out with appliances from just one brand. You might have an LG fridge, a Westinghouse oven and a Kmart microwave. You choose the product and brand that best suits you for that particular item.

By staying agnostic, you can cherry pick and customise your tech engagement to our lifestyle by utilising different brands and products. Thus you can more easily achieve the best price point without sacrificing functionality.

living room

You mix and match the other brands in your home – why not do the same with smart products?

How can so many different solutions be easily managed?

While tailoring a smart solution to your home or business and picking out exactly what services you need without committing to one brand sounds great, you might be thinking: “How can I manage all these multiple products without getting a migraine?” This is where having a smart hub comes in handy. In order to get started with a smart home, homeowners purchase a smart hub and then cherry pick their different products and technology from there.

 

Thinking about getting started with a smart hub? Read more for how carbonTRACK works.