I’m all for an easy life – so my ears pricked up when a press release about ‘smart homes’ landed on my desk. Do you want to watch your home from your mobile or tablet?
This is the latest trend for householders who want to control their homes remotely using their mobile phone or tablet.
According to bosses at Panasonic, which is has just launched its own range of smart home technology, it will help ‘simplify my life’.
Panasonic’s ‘smart home’
Panasonic says the system would allow me to check if I’ve left a bedroom window open, find out if my dog is misbehaving, or instruct a delivery driver where to leave a package. All from the comfort of my desk at work.
And although I’m somewhat of a luddite when it comes to embracing new technology, it sounds great at face value.
The Panasonic system includes cameras allowing for two-way communication, motion sensors and plugs which can all be switched on and off remotely from the same app.
You can also use it to turn your lights on while you are out or to receive an alert when your front door, shed or garage is opened.
But then I started thinking. Would these new-found powers really make my life more simple? So I find out I have left the bedroom window open, but I’m dozens of miles away at work. Imagine the worried calls to friends and family, attempts to get hold of a neighbour with a spare key, the fear of a burglary. That’s probably not going to make my life simpler. Much better surely to be kept in blissful ignorance?
Instructing a delivery driver sounds great. But think about how confusing it would be to explain to them over a camera that your home is “smart”, you’re at work, could they please leave the parcel a fraction to the left… And then they go out of camera range. And so on.
I’m really not sure that sounds so simple.
Smart home appliances
The trend for smart home appliances is growing. And even I can see the benefits of a smart meter so I don’t have to send meter readings to my energy supplier. Or a smart thermostat so I could come back to a warm cosy house after a weekend away. I’m yet to be convinced though why I would need a smart kettle I could boil from another room.
Perhaps it’s like most technology. After all, if you asked the average passer-by 15 years ago whether they would need a phone that could play music, take photos, offer breaking news alerts and 24/7 email access, I’m sure they would have thought you were crazy. But I’m sure few people would be without those luxuries now.
Are you convinced by smart technology? And does it really make our lives easier?