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Windows that automatically open, lights that aanfloepen, when it gets dark: how useful is a smart home really?
Live With thanks to apps and gadgets for the home are becoming smarter. But how useful is that really?

‘are you afraid of... that all automatically?", sang the Dutch band Toontje Lager in 1982. This kind of fear is in the year 2018 is more real than ever. ‘Close the window in the garage!’ And there he goes, hear, softly humming the skylight closed. A moment later, decide it out themselves that it is better to open again. Something with the humidity. Name a modern device in the house and there is a big chance that through an app can be operated. Lamps, skylights, security cameras, doorbells, locks and the thermostat: nothing can escape from the far-app-ization of the society.

the best examples that promised intelligence further than simply a gadget on the internet to connect to it via an app to be able to serve. The promise from manufacturers like Nest (part of Google; doorbells, cameras, thermostats), Ring (from Amazon; also doorbells and cameras), Tado (thermostats), Philips (Hue lamps) or Arlo (daughter of Netgear; security) is that their devices work off my hands, because they themselves can determine when they come into action. And in the case of thermostats that should not only save time, but also money.

Directions for use

a new thermostat on the wall is quite a step. The good news: installation guides have embarked on a second life. Forget the incomprehensible books where the very small print and abstract drawings but one purpose seem to have: the poor consumer be discouraged. The new manual is an app or a YouTube video. The modern consumer is by Nest, Ring, Velux and associates by the hand and step-by-step through the process.

the panel on the wall

Who various gadgets for in-house drop, comes quickly to sockets deficit. Any free spot is occupied by small boxes with flashing leds. Bridges, are called in techjargon. They are the necessary bridge between the wifi network and the lamp or camera. Other manufacturers, such as Velux opt for a grey box that runs on batteries and somewhere on the wall should be confirmed.


Both Apple and Google (with Android) want to be the center for all smart devices. On iPhones, the Apple-app Home, including lamps, skylights, and other things are collected. Google now tries the same with Google Home. In addition, each manufacturer has their own app for the operation, which possibly also with the voice can be controlled. In this regard, it is war between – in this case – Apple, Google, and Amazon, all three of the spraakplatform want to offer. Thus it is possible that the one gadget (Arlo) only works with Amazons English-Speaking Alexa and the other with both Siri of Apple and Google's assistant.

Do or not?

The question that everyone should ask, is: to create this applications life really better? That differs from person to person. Where the for the one a celebration is in order from the bank per stemopdracht the window to close, the thermostat increases and the Hue lamp on the ‘Sunset’ feel the other person is not comfortable and he is just so sweet to me. And the same person experiences perhaps loss of control, due to devices from its own movement, into action. Finally, there is the information overload that is constantly lurking: the smartphone is running overtime with all the notifications.

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