Some smart homes outsmart even their owners

Miami /
Aug.August 08, 2015 09:00 AM

Hotel executive and real estate developer Ian Schrager is frustrated with his “smart home” system allowing remote control of lights, window shades, even his swimming pool’s temperature. He estimates that his first smart home system broke about five times a year, so he replaced it with a second system with an electrical switch allowing users to override the system.

Schrager has excluded smart home systems from his real estate projects, including his company’s upscale condominium development in Manhattan’s Bowery District. He said “it can be a lot of bells and whistles that people don’t like.”

Many home builders include software applications for remote control of security cameras, door locks, blinds, music, lighting and appliances. Apple, Google and Samsung have fast-developing home automation platforms. Some rental apartments come equipped with smart home systems, too.

However, smart home technology frustrates homeowners like Schrager, largely because of the complexity of previously easy tasks.

Paul Wright, 68, director of the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute and  professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California Berkeley, got a “learning thermostat” controlled by smart phone as a gift. He said he never installed it because the technology’s “fiddle factor” was too great for him.

Furniture maker and home renovation contractor Mike Fitzpatrick, 53, has spent an estimated $60,000 on a system made by smart home company Control4.  It is supposed allow remote control of lights, audio and video systems, temperature and security.  But he said he “can’t figure out what to do when it goes wrong.” [Wall Street Journal] Mike Seemuth

 
 
 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Clockwise from left: A rendering of Water Street Tampa, Ian Schrager, Jeff Vinik, Patrick Mahomes, rendering of Tampa Edition, Bill Gates and Tom Brady (Photos via Getty; Water Street Tampa/Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Development boom in Super Bowl city: Tampa reaches for its real estate moment
Development boom in Super Bowl city: Tampa reaches for its real estate moment
Daily Digest Miami
Heir to Merck pharma fortune sells Palm Beach estate, Brookdale buys back Sawgrass Park portfolio for $80M: Daily digest
Heir to Merck pharma fortune sells Palm Beach estate, Brookdale buys back Sawgrass Park portfolio for $80M: Daily digest
Daily Digest Miami
Feds say FIU, FDOT contractors at fault for deadly bridge collapse, Infinity Real Estate looks to sell part of Paramount Bay in Edgewater: Daily digest
Feds say FIU, FDOT contractors at fault for deadly bridge collapse, Infinity Real Estate looks to sell part of Paramount Bay in Edgewater: Daily digest
Google to invest $13B in real estate across the US
Google to invest $13B in real estate across the US
Google to invest $13B in real estate across the US
San Jose and Google attempt to set a new standard amid Amazon’s HQ2 backlash
San Jose and Google attempt to set a new standard amid Amazon’s HQ2 backlash
San Jose and Google attempt to set a new standard amid Amazon’s HQ2 backlash
Placeholder image
Ex-wife of former Apple CEO sells Palm Beach home to insurance chief
Ex-wife of former Apple CEO sells Palm Beach home to insurance chief
National Cheat Sheet: Toll Brothers reports nearly 30% growth, coworking now claims 27M square feet of office space nationwide … & more
National Cheat Sheet: Toll Brothers reports nearly 30% growth, coworking now claims 27M square feet of office space nationwide … & more
National Cheat Sheet: Toll Brothers reports nearly 30% growth, coworking now claims 27M square feet of office space nationwide … & more
Google has its goggles set on new apartments for employees
Google has its goggles set on new apartments for employees
Google has its goggles set on new apartments for employees
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...