Are Smart Homes awful or awesome?

Smart home

With Apple set to release their Home app this autumn, alongside existing apps such as British Gas’s Hive and Alphabet’s Nest, and connected home hub Samsung’s SmartThings, it seems that automating your home is the way forward. I’m torn as to whether this is a fun gadget or a scary cyber home invader.

I do quite like the thought of a ‘faux sunrise’ gently waking me in the morning, my blinds slowly opening while I get out of bed & my coffee machine making a hot frothy cappucino ready by the time i’ve walked down the stairs (I can almost hear the music & see the bluebirds flying over with my dressing gown) but is handing over control of home to an app a good idea?

Imagine the scenario; you’re leaving work early one afternoon so you go online and adjust the thermostat to preheat your home. After dinner, you load the dishwasher and it decides the best time to run based on the availability of renewable energy and cost. On your way to work the next morning, you realise you’ve forgotten to lock the house and turn off the lights but you pull out your smartphone and set the house to “away” – problem solved.

Home will be a hub where users can access all of their connected home products, including lighting, locks, heating and cooling, plugs and switches, blinds and sensors for appliances such as kettles. You can set up different “scenes”, such as “I’m home” or “Good night”, that can either be set for a certain time of day or voice activated using Siri.

I have to admit that this sort of thing does appeal to me, mainly because I am a bit of a organisation freak, but I wonder how long the novelty will last and how good being surrounded by so much technology is for me. Plus, how long would it be before someone hacks into my hub and sets my smart toilet to spray water at me or worse, unlocks all the doors?!