Supporting a connected home is about education, not troubleshooting

When I first installed a SmartThings kit last summer I proudly looked at my pile of sensors, my connected outlets and locks and wondered, now what? It was a deflating moment and could have ended the march into my newly connected life. It’s one reason I think people are better off buying a connected device they know they want rather than a hub to later build out home automation.

As service providers, DIYers and others are getting more curious about smart homes though, the big names are thinking about how to get consumers past that “now what?” moment and into a happily automated lifestyle. This week I chat with James Morehead, the VP of product management at about how to get consumers over the chasm and into a smart home. We also talk about recipes and the need for profiles or some level of customization in the smart home. The trick is doing that at scale. I suspect the solution will be intelligent algorithms, but we’re not there yet.

Meanwhile, Kevin Tofel and I start off with a chat about security gaps in his connected cameras and a connected garage door. Instead of getting excited about the ability to see if my door is closed or not, I’m more excited about the door as a trigger. In fact, I suspect that once people start thinking of their connected devices that way, they’ll have a lot more fun.

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Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and James Morehead of

  • Are Kevin’s webcam’s secure? Does he care?
  • Connecting my garage door and thinking different about why I’m doing so.
  • How do we get mainstream consumers to care about the smart home?
  • The worst time to try to sell people on the smart home is right after installers leave.


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