Smart homes are obviously still in the early days.
A consumer may get a smart thermostat or lights that can be controlled by smartphone, but we’re still quite a ways from totally connected homes.
But many major brands are anxious to see how smart homes evolve, so that their products and services are assured a fit in that new world.
It looks like consumers still need some education around the complexities and nuances of smart home technology, based on the results of eight months of testing smart home devices by CNET, which had set up a testing lab in Louisville.
Brands behind the testing include P&G, Coldwell Banker, Travelers, Lexus, Duracell and Value City Furniture.
The team of six editors reviewed more than 40 smart home products and found the biggest labor intensive areas involved lighting, smoke detectors, thermostats, locks and garage doors.
A so-called smart home is just one that has smart or Internet-connected devices that can be controlled or automated remotely, typically with a smartphone or tablet.
The testing criteria involved determining whether the product functioned as described, if it integrated well with other smart home platforms, how intuitive the software was, the reliability of the networking connection and how expansive were the product features and capabilities compared to those of competitors, according to CNET.
Voice control and activation technology were found to be critically important and the foundation for collaboration within a smart home.
The testers selected what they concluded were the top products matching the criteria, which were Amazon Echo, Ecobee 3 thermostat, Philips Hue lights, Belkin WeMo light switch, Nest Cam security camera, Garageio and Chamberlain MyQ garage door openers, Nest smoke alarm, Neato Botvac connected vacuum and the Roost smart battery.
Additional findings include that if someone is outfitting their home themselves, they should expect to manage multiple smart home platforms and voice control makes it easy for multi-person households to control the technology.
A smart home may end up becoming that way one connected object at a time.