Being a technology early adopter has always posed problems for me and my spouse. Me, because I am always attracted to new and shiny technological advances. My spouse, because she has yet another thing to learn–a new remote to use, a new charger that doesn’t fit any of her devices. It can be a real mess. So when I uttered the words “Smart Home” to my wife a couple of years ago, I half-expected to be divorced and working on my “Smart One Bedroom Apartment” across town. While I may have been able to carry on an amusing conversation with Alexa, there’s simply no substitute to the cold, disbelieving stare of the woman you love.
Smart Home Essential Checklist
We’ll get into more details on these below, but here are the essential steps to creating your smart home.
- Get your partner excited about the smart home.
- Have fun picking your hardware.
- Think big.
- Keep it simple.
- Keep it private.
- Stay married forever.
The very first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you let your spouse think they have input in the design and execution of your master plan. Needing their opinion (air quotes) is vital for any of this to work. If it goes horribly wrong, for example, you can look at her and exclaim “Look what you made me do! This is all your fault!”
Pick a team. If you live in the Google-verse, or if you’re a die hard Amazon Prime user, you will be building your smart home around their core hardware. Swapping mid-way between the process can be costly, so research what hardware you want to use before you do anything. The decision you make now can even determine what doorbell you use.
Decide what you think you want to do and be prepared to drastically expand upon that. While you may not currently think you’re getting a smart thermostat, security system or video doorbell, you’re wrong. You’re getting it. You’re getting all of it. The day will come, mark my words . . . You’ll be sprawled there on the sofa giving your TV, lights and Christmas tree verbal commands and realize something terrifying. You’re cold. You’re cold and curling into the fetal position and thinking warm thoughts will not change that fact. So yes, you will be getting a smart thermostat.
When picking commands and names for your devices, think to yourself: What would a monkey call this? You wouldn’t want to name your living room light Alexander Hamilton. A monkey would not do that! A monkey would either name it “banana” or “living room light.” Use logical names so when grandma comes to watch the kids for the weekend, you know she’ll have the basics for human survival: light, warmth, TV. There’s nothing worse than coming home to find your entire smart home infrastructure has been dismantled because nana wanted to watch her shows.
Don’t be a Smart Home evangelist. While you may be proud of your complicated home automation accomplishment, do not allow any of this technology to infect your parent’s home. Leave them in the 1930s where they “live” happily in blissful ignorance.
While we didn’t get into the particulars of setting these devices up, those articles will follow. Spousal acceptance is, by far, the most complicated and treacherous part of this entire process, so I wanted to make sure I covered this first and foremost. When finished, you’ll both be happier knowing you’ll never get divorced. Once you have total home automation integrated into every aspect of her life, she’ll realize its easier staying married to you than undoing it all. Enjoy!