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Home technology is just about the most exciting thing to consumers at the moment. It’s basically like living in an episode of The Jetsons in real life, seriously. Your fridge can tell you what items you need to stock up on, your vacuum can clear the floors all by itself, and your air conditioning can be adjusted even if you’re miles away from home.
But whether you want to live life like George, Judy, Jane, and Elroy, you should probably consider a few of the advantages and disadvantages of connecting all of your home tech gadgets.
Pro: Take advantage of the Internet of Things
In order to understand the pros and cons of syncing your network of home technology, we have to start with the Internet of Things. What is the Internet of Things, you ask? Simply put, the Internet of Things (or IoT) is basically how our devices and applications connect in the first place. It’s how your lights know to come on at 6pm when you get home from work, and it’s how your alarm automatically sounds at 7am each morning.
But how does it work? The IoT works off of information that it learns by observing your habits over time. Depending on the device, data that’s collected might include: hours of usage, location statistics, and time.
Many types of home technologies employ IoT in order to automate processes and improve user experience. Here are just a few examples of popular items that use IoT:
- Amazon Echo
- Google Home
Con: Limited access to privacy
If any of that Internet of Things stuff sounded creepy to you, you’re definitely not alone. The only way IoT can function is by collecting and storing user data, which is unpopular for many users, but people don’t seem to care as much as they say.
According to a study by Consumers International and the Internet Society, 63% of consumers say they find their devices to be creepy and 75% of people distrust how their data is shared. But the numbers also show that smart device sales continue to increase.
So can you get the best of both worlds when using IoT technology? Kind of, depending on what data you’re willing to share. The reality is, your home tech devices need your data in order to function at their best, but you don’t have to give them every detail.
Before you purchase any IoT device, you should immediately familiarize yourself with the privacy policies and how to turn off data collection in certain circumstances to protect your information. In addition, you should ask the manufacturer of the device if they use an IoT security system in order to authenticate user access. This extra layer of protection can prevent unauthorized users from hacking into your devices and obtaining important data.
Pro: Automating saves time and money
One of the major benefits of syncing your home tech devices is that it can save you time and money. Home energy systems, for example, can optimize and automate your energy usage to cut back on bills and save you money.
Con: Too much reliance on technology
Many experts say that our current tech trajectory is pointing toward an over-reliance on our devices that could be making us less resourceful and more lazy than we’ve ever been before.
Pro: Your tech becomes easily accessible
Despite all of the privacy concerns with IoT devices, sales continue to increase and consumers are constantly looking for ways to make their lives easier. The main advantage of syncing your tech devices is how easy it is to access your technology from any one of your devices such as your computer or smartphone.
Con: Potential for connectivity issues
Technology is definitely convenient, but it can also be incredibly unreliable and tricky. Sometimes the internet goes down and other times there’s an issue that you can’t even identify. The point is: there’s bound to be at least a moment or two where your tech isn’t functioning totally properly.
As far as we can tell right now…syncing your home technology is the way of the future. But before you do, use this guide to weigh the pros and cons of connecting your devices.