When I was a kid the internet was something that came on an CD from a company called AOL. Internet modems we’re devices that would squeak and squawk to let you know that you were connected to this fabled thing called the internet, and the primary use we had as kids was to instant messenger each other through AIM (AOL Instant Messaging), cell phone text messaging and snap chat had not yet been invented.
Back then when you had to do a research project for school you had to go to the library and check out books from a friendly librarian who wrote the check out date on a little piece of paper and put it in a file and gave you a corresponding piece with the due date listed and placed it in the back of the book. I remember doing a report on the Caiman which is a South American Alligator.
I checked out a pile of books on animals in search of information on this elusive animal, searching page by page hoping to find the information for my report. After combing through 20 pounds of books I was able to find enough information for my 500 word report on the Caiman and delivered what I believe to be one of the best elementary school level pre-google, pre-facebook reports on the the South American genus of Alligator and my parents were happy to haul back the stack of books that had been cluttering my room for a week. With the Caiman report finished, my next report was going to be on the Capybara which is an oversized South American rodent.
I’m not sure where my obsession with South American animals came from but back then the cartoon Captain Planet, was incredibly popular and I thought I was saving the rainforest with each new report delivered to my elementary school class. My parents looked at me with bewilderment when I told them about my aspirations to learn more about Capybara which I pronounced as the “Crappy Bara”. Where was I going to find more information on the “Crappy Bara”? I guess I would probably need 40 pounds of books to get this report done.
Back then Google had not even been invented yet and Larry Page was building inkjet printers out of lego’s at University of Michigan and Jeff Bezo’s was still working at a hedge fund. Tony Fadell the founder of nest was making PDA’s for Sony, that included whopping 4MB of storage memory (Which is equivalent to the storage size of one low resolution picture today) and the only way you could connect the PDA to the internet was by plugging it into the your modem to “link” it up.
The world has changed, a simple google search of Capybara returns more than 4.85 Million results. No need to lug home 40 pounds worth of books. Information is more accessible than ever, the whole world has the largest library imaginable at our fingertips, with new information being created each day, it’s truly is incredible. The information revolution has made our lives better, and we will continue to reap the benefits for years to come.
What if Larry Page, Jeff Bezos and Tony Fadell had all stayed the course on the path’s they were on? Had Larry continued engineering printer’s I’m sure they would probably be amazing, and we wouldn’t feel such animosity toward our printers with like the infamous scene in office space. Had these leaders stayed on their set paths the information revolution might have looked very different, now they are leading the next revolution which will will make all of our lives better.
Google has revolutionized how we find share and information, Amazon has revolutionized how we get things quickly, and reliably though the internet and now smart home technology, the next revolution is changing how we live. The information revolution was about giving the world easy access to our collective knowledge, but it required people to act on that knowledge. The smart home revolution is taking the combined collective knowledge we have and letting the machines do the work for you, to save you energy, money and time.
We are in an new era where now we can assign devices to do work for us, working 24/7 like little robots at your beck and call. The the smart home device revolution is here and it is changing the how we live. Smart thermostats automatically turn down or off the AC when your at work to save energy and turn it back on when they sense you leaving work so you never even notice that your house was a few degrees warmer during the day. While a thermostat may not provide the full services of a butler they still can save you 10-15% on your heating and cooling bill.
Letting machines do the work, allows them to optimize for whatever factors we choose, energy efficiency, comfort or safety taking away the burden of the cognitive loads we face from our lives and work. Smart home devices are carrying the hypothetical 40 pounds of books for you.
Did you lock your door? Oh don’t worry, your smart home can automatically lock if for you 5 minutes after you left.
Did that amazon package arrive? Yes, there it is, I can see it on my smart doorbell and know that it’s going to be safe because I’m recording everything that happens on my front porch.
With the addition of voice control to homes we no longer need to even use an app, you just tell your smart home what you want it to do and like magic it does it.
Amazon, Google & Nest are the undisputed leaders in the smart home space but there are thousands of other smart home companies out that might just be the next big one, to help us revolutionize how we live, it’s an exciting time to be alive and we should all take advantage of technology that makes are lives easier.
It’s a brave new smart world, are you living in it?
This week we launched our smart home podcast, to help you live in the brave new smart world and navigate the often confusing world of the smart home automation. With thousands of devices on the market it’s hard to know where to start with your smart home, we cut down the complexity and let you know the best devices we use and recommend to start your smart home. Our first episode is focused on “How to Start Your Smart Home” with international syndication available on our website here.