Must You Be Smart to Own a Smart Home?

Some homeowners are overwhelmed by their new systems

2 December 2015

In a Wall Street Journal article, people—including some with technical backgrounds—who bought smart-home gadgets said they were frustrating to use, often causing more problems than they solved. Lights would flicker, for example, and the controllers occasionally stopped working. One user said he ended up hiring a smart-home installation company that monitors his system in case things go wrong. “I just want to turn it on and off. That’s as much as I want to be involved,” Don Stanutz said in the article.

Others, however, said they’ve found their smart-home systems worth the extra effort. In particular, they pointed to applications that allow them to monitor their pets when away from home and to shut off their kids’ gaming consoles when it’s time for dinner. 

Are smart-home gadgets making our lives easier or are they adding to the digital divide?

This article is part of our December 2015 special report on smart homes.

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