Home Buyers- How Much do You Know About Smart Home Tech, and How Much do You Want? What to Look for and What to Consider.
It would appear that everyone is in the game of making our homes smarter and Amazon is as always, a major player. Amazon Key in-home delivery attempts to put the brakes on the recent flood of stolen deliveries by allowing their delivery drivers access to the inside of our homes. With a smart lock for the driver, and a camera to protect the homeowner, Amazon’s ‘secure’ delivery system maintains that “Amazon Key will provide customers with a convenient way to allow unattended access to professional service providers”. Actually the premise is a pretty good one, but like all new technology it might be wise to avoid being an early adopter.
Yes, technology is exciting but as we’ve been reminded numerous times recently, it’s also precarious and in some cases, dangerous. Just imagine what could happen if your car or medical device is hacked. Amazon’s in-home delivery system has already been hacked by cybersecurity researchers who have discovered that through a widely known wi-fi vulnerability, the camera can be disabled. Apparently Amazon did not see this coming and frankly, does not perceive it as a risk. (see Amazon’s explanation to CBS Morning here) I’m not so sure.
Personally I think the jury’s still out on many IoT or smart home devices. They seem to take our longing (read obsession) to be connected just a bit too far. And sometimes it feels like it might just be one more thing to malfunction. I mean, seriously, when your refrigerator stops talking to you while you’re at the grocery store, how could you possibly know what you need to buy? And what happens when the manufacturer of your smart apparatus goes out of business or stops support for your gadget?
Tell me this: as either a homeowner or a home buyer, which smart home tech gadgets do you think every home needs? Which ones are you not be willing to take a chance on?
As a home seller, do you feel that any of the technology present in your home right now might be a deal-breaker for a potential home buyer?
Why Should Homebuyers Size up Smart Homes Carefully?
By John Voket
Smart homes and their related technology are only a few years old. That means that first generation of smart homes are just beginning to hit the marketplace as owners relocate or vacate those properties.
A recent NBC news report pointed out that while smart homes are still a small part of the overall market, they are expected to grow significantly in the next few years as more homeowners install these devices and homebuyers come to expect them.
As a result, the National Association of REALTORS is now teaching its agents how to spot IoT devices and how to deal with them at closing.
Recently, Parks Associates announced new research showing that approximately one-third of smart home device owners experience problems with their smart home devices and nearly 10 percent report problems connecting a smart home device to the home network router.
Consumers encounter these issues more often when setting up smart sprinkler systems, networked security cameras, and water leak detectors compared to other smart home devices the study found.
Ed Oswald at cheatsheet.com says there are four major reasons why homebuyers might do well to consider a smart home purchase – or upgrade – very carefully:
1. It can be hacked. This started happening way back in 2014, when security researchers showed that hackers can take complete control of Belkin WeMo smart home devices.
2. The technology is moody. When you use a smart switch or press a smart button to operate a connected device, the signal first heads to your smart hub, then the hub sends it to the cloud, where it is sent back to your hub, and finally to your device. What happens when this fails? Those devices don’t work.
3. Many competing “standards”. The sheer number of smart home platforms and technologies is staggering, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WeMo, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and a host of others. Not every platform talks to one another, and many aren’t even compatible with others, making the problem worse.
4. The price is too high. Before you know it, you could be in deep — to the tune of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And what if you want to switch smart home technologies? There’s no guarantee what you just bought will even work.