Smart homes can accommodate user preferences for convenience. For example, user’s can program their garage door to open, the lights to go on, the fireplace to turn on and their favorite tunes to play upon their arrival.
Home automation also helps consumers improve efficiency. Instead of leaving the air conditioning on all day, a smart home system can learn behaviors and make sure the house is cooled down by the time homeowners arrive home from work. The same goes for appliances. With a smart irrigation system, the lawn will only be watered when needed and with the exact amount of water necessary. With home automation, energy, water and other resources are used more efficiently, which helps save both natural resources and money for the consumer.
However, home automation systems have struggled to become mainstream, in part due to their technical nature. A drawback of smart homes is their perceived complexity; some people have difficulty with technology or will give up on it with the first inconvenience. Smart home manufacturers and alliances are working on reducing complexity and improving the user experience to make it enjoyable and beneficial for users of all types and technical levels.
For home automation systems to be truly effective, devices must be interoperable regardless of manufacturer, and use the same protocol or, at least, complementary ones. As it is a relatively new market, there is no gold standard for home automation yet. However, standard alliances are partnering with manufacturers and protocols to ensure interoperability and a seamless user experience.