Walking Back My Google Smart Home Ambitions (Premium)


When we moved to Pennsylvania almost three years ago, I viewed this change as an opportunity to start over in many areas. Among them was our approach to smart home technology, a move we’ve made in fits and starts over time. That was by design: As I noted upfront, I knew we’d make mistakes, and that we would go down certain roads only to backtrack after things didn’t work out.

The overall results aren’t all that impressive if you’re looking for the home of the future. We’ve only sporadically installed smart home tech around this Pennsylvania home in part because of surveillance worries and in part because a lot of this technology is simply too new and too untested to trust. Our biggest changes were infrastructure-based. We completely rewired and modernized the home’s electrical system, at great cost. We adopted mesh networking for whole-house Internet coverage. And we settled on Google as our smart home platform (as opposed to, say, Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri/HomeKit).

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