Around the smarthomes or connected homes persist numerous myths that are not true enough to make their expansion in homes difficult. Today we gut these legends around smart homes.
The advantages of smart homes are multiple: they allow access to appliances, heating or electronic devices in your home from anywhere, thanks to them you can detect anomalies, thefts and possible technical incidents and, above all, allow you to control consumption energy and have a large margin of savings, contributing to a much higher energy efficiency.
According to data from the IDC consultancy, the global smart home market is expected to grow by 31% compared to last year 2018, which implies 643.9 million units by 2019, including smart loudspeakers, entertainment systems, lights connected, intelligent thermostats and domotic security and monitoring systems. By 2022, shipments of devices will double, while smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home will experience an annual growth of 39.1%, reaching 230.5 million in 2022.
Myths about smart homes
- Smart homes are very expensive: Of course, if you are looking for a custom building designed specifically for your home you will have to pay a large amount, but you can start gradually acquiring economic gadgets that allow you to convert your home into a connected home, such as Intelligent light switches, the Google Nest range, a smart loudspeaker on the market – the Google Home Mini only costs 60 euros – cameras to monitor your home or smart plugs.
- Intelligent speakers listen to you permanently: Voice Assistant devices, such as Alexa and Google Home, always listen. But they’re just listening to your activation word – like “Alexa” or “Hey, Google.” As explained from How to Geek, the activation word is processed locally, and until the device listens to those specific words, it does not send anything to Amazon or Google. As soon as they recognize the word in progress, they process the command that follows and then send it for processing in the cloud. If these devices recorded everything they heard and sent it to the cloud, it would see a drastic increase in network usage that would be easy to detect. In addition, both Amazon and Google also allow you to see (and delete) all the voice commands that you have given.
- Smarthomes are an easy target for hackers: By pure logic, each connected element constitutes an additional path by which a cybercriminal might want to reach your home. However, the weakest point of the house is your Wi-Fi router, whose protection you should increase. Some of the keys to make your Wi-Fi password safer are to increase its length -at least eight characters-, avoid obviousness and personal data, use numbers, special characters and uppercase and lowercase letters and also modify the network name.
- They are difficult and complex to implement: Currently, connected households are easier to implement than ever before. Smart bulbs or voice aids have a very simple installation process, while with little technical knowledge you can install a smart thermostat like the Nest. Voice-screen assistants like the Google Home Hub do not have too many complexities, while many of these gadgets have technical support at your disposal.