One smart home device to rule them all

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A connected home would be incomplete without an accompanying smart device. Most internet of things (IoT) devices suitable for landlords are permanently affixed to the house awaiting activation by: a smartphone, web app or other remote device.

Landlords must learn a variety of apps to control these devices. Once learned, these apps are updated and revised-sometimes adding greater functionality.

Currently, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung use proprietary ecosystems limiting interoperability between them. Other open-source systems such as Zigbee and Z-wave often require a ‘not-so-friendly’ hub device to connect and activate compatible systems. Does the smart market offer an ‘easy to use’ device for everything? Also, wouldn’t it be even better if that device too was permanently attached to the home?

Enter Brilliant. It is a mini-computer disguised as a 2-panel switch.  Unlike its rivals such as Amazon Echo, it permanently attaches to the home and operates much like a regular switch. For the newby non-technical person, this last feature is critical. For the smart home connoisseur, one device to remotely access all (or many) of the tools from one physical location is vital.

One feature I plan to soon blog focuses on what extent landlords might entice tenants by offering homes with Netflix accounts, Sonos Music Libraries and remote functionality (including alarms and cameras). I am intrigued by this possibility and will attempt a trial run during my next rental. Watch for the next blog.

One drawback is evident, for now. The wall-mounted device appears to be frustratingly difficult to set up. Some of its functionality remains limited. That said, property managers interested in using remote management tools will find this device as a potential solution. Doubling as insurance when the home is vacant provides extra security and first-warning benefit.

Always remember another downside: If your properties become ‘smart,’ reliable wi-fi and constant electricity service must always remain functional.

Baron would be interested in your comments.