Last post–Home Automation someday destination today well it may be a tough journey…

Last post in my home automation series for awhile. Yesterday I talked about the agony of searching for does my driver work with my hub. My devices share the same protocol and see everything except the same hub. Or they see the hub but cannot connect to the hub.

So the first lesson learned from fixing problems is set a limit. I grew up in the early days of computing and we did at times in the old days spend many days solving the technical problems around us. Over the early days of my career I learned two critical skills that have helped me ever since.

  1. If there is someone smarter than you, ask them the question when you are struggling.
  2. Try to stop working on a problem after an hour. You may seem close, you may seem to be almost there.

Those two simple rules have saved me a number of times. Being able to walk away from a problem after spending an hour on it, often ends up with me rushing back two hours later knowing the answer that I had missed before.

The other reality for this last blog in the series is the reality of IoT. What is home automation today and what is the devices that enable our lives. We are beginning to see the expansion already – the blurring of the concepts of automation and comfort. Personal presence divides move further into that split between the two. They can in the end be part of your home security system (using them to investigate things in the house when you are not home) as well as personal presence enablers. They split that reality between the IoT device and the home automation system.

In fact, I believe that Home Automation systems are moving more towards the device as a service. Where the device offers a series (door lock) and you as the consumer can use that service at will. You are not bound to devices or rules, you simple connect to your devices securely.

The securely part is going to be the big change. Security has to be more than passwords. It has to represent a spectrum of protection. Covering not only you but your devices. It cannot be complex security that requires you to memorize 23 random digits with a series of alpha numeric and punctuation marks. It has to be simple. Simple and secure the rallying cry.

I mentioned in an earlier post that in fact what you are building in a hybrid cloud. Your data has to be secure on both sides of the equation. Secure in your home and safe from being hacked. Secure in the cloud solution hosting your remote automation and remote IoT systems. Yes there are things in people’s homes that no one cares about (my weather station isn’t a high value target.) But someone could hack your refrigeration and then email you at work, notifying you that if you don’t pay, you will pay. Because everything in your freezer will be melted.

In five years this won’t be a journey it will be a destination. Security, systems and everything will work together. There won’t be questions of security or questions of does my hub work with my device. But that is five years from now. Today we embark on our home automation projects as the pioneers. We are far from the city and the easier life. We have to make crops grow in the hard soil and survive.

So to those hearty pioneers who embark upon this perilous journey to the west. Who leave behind all things they know for a new and better life I salute you. The steps you take the land you plow and the dreams you bring together will help everyone else when they too embark on this journey. You are the hearty stock that change the world!


IASA Fellow