We had a contractor at the house a few days ago to do some maintenance. Because it turns out houses fall apart as they age and you have to keep pouring money into them—who could have guessed?
But anyway, the contractor noticed my Google Home in the kitchen and talked about how he’s been installing smart switches for his clients for several years now.
After our house he was going to another client with a much, much more expensive home to install Malibu lights and a sprinkler system. Instead of installing the timer systems that comes with the sprinklers and the lights he was going to install smart switches and show the clients how to use them with their voice and their phones.
This is probably a “duh” thing for a lot of people, but I know that if I was a contractor I’d dread the tech support calls I’d get for something like that. He said he never gets a call—his clients love the smart switches.
His decision also makes a ton of sense if you’ve ever had to program a sprinkler system or Malibu lights with the timers that come with the systems. Those timers are—I can only assume, based on the amount of swearing I did myself setting them up when we first bought our house—designed by engineers who actively and enthusiastically loathe humanity, progress, and beauty.
Don’t believe me? Here, have a cold beverage and enjoy some instructions.
What surprised me about our contractor’s faith in smart devices is that as far as I’m concerned we’ve been so achingly close for so long for this kind of devices becoming acceptable for the masses.
They’re not there yet since we still have competing standards, not just with Echo, Google Home, and HomeKit, but also competing wireless standards on the backend. Oh, it gets complicated, boy does it ever get complicated.
So it was interesting to get a report from the frontlines saying we’re at that stage in the technology cycle now where rich people are passively getting set up with voice controlled devices and are happy with them.
Or contented, at least. And if you have spent any kind of time providing services to the kind of people who own multi-million-dollar homes, you know that they are not the kind of people who are shy or timid about expressing their displeasure. Which means the kind of smart devices this contractor is installing are huge successes with his clients.
Which means the smart devices are close to ready for mass consumption. The installation just needs to get easier so you don’t need a contractor to install the things and help you get up to speed.
And of course the prices need to drop significantly.
Smart homes are close now. Closer and closer.
And yes, I know that anecdote is not the singular of data, but what he said jives with everything else I’m seeing.
Nic is interested in smart homes. His contractor let him know how the wealthy are already using them.
Apple’s neglect of the pro market is causing a lot of gnashing of teeth in Apple-nerd circles, but it’s true to Apple’s vision.
There is unrest in the Mac community about Apple’s commitment to the platform. Some are turning their eyes to building a Hackintosh to get the kind of computer Apple doesn’t provide. Here’s what it’s like to run a Hackintosh.
Car nerds are dealing with some cognitive dissonance as car technology changes.
The Oasis is Amazon’s best e-ink reader to date, but it’s not good enough for the price.
Nic buys an Amazon Echo and is indubitably happy with the fantasy star ship in his head.
The problem isn’t ads. The problem is being stalked like an animal across the internet.
The DS416j is a nice NAS for light home use. Just don’t expect raw power.
The Core Dump is moving to GitHub Pages. This is a good thing, most likely.
Thoughts on Apple Watch after half a year of daily usage.
Predictably, the Paris attacks brought the anti-encryption crowd back out of the woodwork. They're at best being willfully disingenuous.
Things to consider when planning to build a site on a compressed time table.
Nic provides some basic not-too-paranoid tips for securing your digital life.
Installing Jekyll on an EC2 Amazon Linux AMI is easy. Here are the steps.
After wearing the watch for over a month, Nic has thoughts on its future. Spoiler: Depends on how you define success.
Turns out “it's just a big iPhone” is a stroke of genius.
Some technical terms still confuse people who should know better, like journalists.
How to host a static site on Amazon S3 with an apex domain without using Amazon’s Route 53.
People fear change, so new technology is used as as a faster version of the old. This makes technologists sad.
Nic loves his Pebble and looks forward to the Apple Watch, but realizes he’s in the minority.
Nic loves books, but he loves their content more.
Nic is worried about the fragile state of our technology and thinks you should be as well.
Nic tries to understand the WATCH. It doesn't go well.
Nic thinks home integration could be Apple’s next major category. Read on to find out why.
Nic is frustrated with his Kindle and would love to see Apple make an e-ink reader.
The iPhone was announced Jan. 9, 2007. It now occupies a huge chunk of Nic’s life.
Nic is very impressed with the speed of the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Nic buys a Nexus 7 to test the Android waters.
Nic outlines some of the risks of ceding comments on news stories to Facebook.
Nic is bemused by the sturm und drang surrounding the iOS-ification of Mac OS X.
Web publishing used to require heavy-duty nerditry, but no longer.
Nic is creating an e-book. He shares what he’s learned so far.