How smart does a home need to be, to truly be smart?

The Internet of Things is a big things these days with Apple, Google, and Amazon all building devices that can talk to things that control appliances, your garage, the lights of your home, and much more. All of this technology supposedly has the potential to make people's lives better and more convenient, but the process of integrating all of this technology into your life can be a bit difficult. The potential privacy concerns, lifespan of the devices' hardware and software support, and reliability are also factors to consider.

With the consumerization of IoT technology, it is much easier for people to hook "smart" devices up to their network and communicate over the internet to make their lives easier. However, along with the push for getting these devices into the hands of developers came shortcuts and lax security efforts on behalf of the device makers. Numerous IoT devices have been taken over by malware and used as part of a botnet to attack various networks and services such as PlayStation Network and more.

Some of the cheaper and lower-end devices had bad security implementations and the companies that made them went out of business. What do you do when the device no longer receives any updates and the software no longer works with your phone? The only thing I can think of is to replace the device. I'd recommend only considering companies that have been around for a while in this space, Phillips is one good example, and thoroughly research their software and hardware update cycle. Don't make the mistake of saving a hundred bucks on your setup if the hardware and software won't be usable in a year or two.

Even if the hardware and software look like they'll be around for a good amount of time, there are still a variety of things that can happen. Home security cameras are known to be set off by pets in the house, some IoT door locks fail, groupings in software don't always work, and more. For the love of God, do not replace all your home lighting with a system that doesn't also have a regular old switch as a fail safe. There's still the issue of how "smart" this makes your home, but I won't go into that today.