Re: "Two words: Power consumption."
Patrick, buddy, you are wrong. Home automation tech is easy. It is simple to set up. At worst, you need to ensure that all your devices have the same logo on it.
"The market" isn't a bit of magic that automatically makes tech plentiful and cheap as soon as standards are settled and the basic ideas are sound. The problem is far - far - more basic than you seem to grasp: it is the problem of the chicken and the egg.
Home automation tech isn't everywhere because home automation tech isn't everywhere. It has nothing to do with easy of use, or even the standards. It has everything to do with lack of mind share amongst manufacturers and the fact that one piece of home automation tech is useless, where as a dozen or so starts to make for a smart home.
Home automation tech faces an uphill battle simply because – for it to work properly – you really need to have multiple bits of gear. I am not talking strictly about the technology involved, but the practical aspects of reaping the benefits of automation.
Not having to poke the fish filter doesn’t save me a huge amount of time. But not having to poke the fish filter, furnace, A/C, fridge, individual light bulbs, toilet paper stocks, security system, windows and all the other bits of maintenance that go with owning a home…that does add up to a great deal of time saved.
The problem is that for home automation tech to take off…home automation tech has to have already taken off. Hobbiests can only take it so far. For it to ever work it needs to not be a “selling feature” and start being “just another tickbox item.”
People may not buy a device because it has a home automation logo at first. But if you start building it into all your products now, soon enough people will choose not to buy any device that doesn’t have the home automation tech built in.
Look; you wouldn’t buy a car in Canada without a defrost setting on the HVAC. It’s lunacy. But the car dealerships don’t sell cars here advertising the existence of the defrost setting. It is simply expected. Not having that feature would simply mean no sale, regardless of however nice the car is otherwise.
This is where we need to get to for home automation; widespread manufacturer support. Get enough of the gadgets into the home, and you can start to tell people “you know, half your stuff already has this. Buy this widget, plug it into your home router and it suddenly all starts working!” (Home automation tech actually is that simple. Some of the widgety boxen even speak all three major protocols.)
At that point, they will buy the widget, play with it…
…and never buy another widget for the house without the automation tech again.
We don’t need to make it more simple. It’s simple enough. We need to make it more widespread.