I realized this weekend that home automation is still in the early adopter stage.
How do I know? Two things.
One, there are multiple standards. You must be sure you’re getting something compatible with your system: Apple or Google or Amazon. The good news is more devices now support Thread (whatever that is) so more devices are available for each standard.
I have found a couple of cool services: Starling Home Hub to connect Nest devices to Apple HomeKit (super easy to use) and Homebridge for bringing HomeKit support where there is none (but not for the faint-hearted, as it assumes you are comfortable with command line scripts).
But how I really knew home automation is still for early adopters: All smart devices are white.
All my switches and outlets are almond color; all my “smart parts” are white. As an early adopter, I’m okay with this but my wife certain isn’t. I tried arguing that white is for the HomeKit devices and almond is for regular switches and plugs. She’s not having any of it: things must match. Looks like I’m waiting until almond becomes available before I start automating switches.
For product managers, buying preferences are key elements of your definition of personas and market segment. Are your buyers willing to accommodate missing capabilities or are they insistent that “it just works”?