Is a Smart Home for You? Here’s What You Told Senior Planet

Years ago, living in a smart, or automated home was the stuff of science fiction, but technology is catching up…

..but would you live in a smart home?

Senior Planet recently fielded a survey of some of our readers to learn more about your attitudes and concerns about smart home technology. Here’s what we learned. Does this sound like you?

Technology to improve security, control thermostats and listen to music wirelessly were the top three reasons for members to have a smart home. Voice activated devices like Alexa or Echo would be used most often to get the weather, get directions or get general information. Almost three quarters agreed they would most appreciate the security and safety of a smart home, and about two-thirds liked the convenience and money-saving possibilities.

“I am excited about the possibilities & enhancement that Smart Home technology offers!” said one survey respondent.

Despite those positive attitudes, survey respondents also had some concerns about smart homes. Nearly all respondents had concerns about security and privacy of smart home devices, and more than three-quarters worried that technology would be difficult or confusing to learn. Also, most respondents have some concerns with the affordability of smart home devices.

“It would be beneficial to have some government or private agencies, to help some elderly people, afford to purchase smart home devices,“ suggested one survey participant.

Thanks to our readers for your sharing your perspective (and congratulations to Karol S. who received the Amazon Echo as a thank you for participating!).

What robots could be coming to homes soon? Take a look at what we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show.

 

Photo still:  “Frank & Robot” courtesy of Sony Entertainment

 

 

3 comments
  • Hazel Gully
    REPLY

    In reference to your reporting about “smart” devices, be aware that many of us are wary about health concerns related to microwaves and wireless equipment. It’s not necessarily an informed position, but there seems to be a lot of evidence that some disorders have increased exponentially over the last 20 years, the implication being that the increases are correlated to the exponential use of microwaves and wireless equipment such as cell phones, wireless cable television, smart thermostats, etc. I think today’s Seniors (and I am one) want to embrace progress but it’s almost impossible for most of us to know whether we’re being helped or harmed.

  • David Mandelstamm
    REPLY

    We have entered into a dystopian era where private corporations (and of course, our government, who is here to “help” us) want to know EVERYTHING about us! All smart houses, smart phones, smart meters, smart ____________ [whatever] share our personal information with “third parties”. Period. Many of these third parties freely share our information with OTHER third parties, and have already demonstrated that they can’t be trusted. Even worse, there are usually agendas tied into these smart devices… like our government’s insatiable desire for power and control. Not to mention the risk of hackers gaining access to your personal data. The sales tactics being employed to sell this junk to us are often slimy. They tell us it’s all about improving convenience and safety (which it might, to some degree). But there’s a dark side to all of this, and my hope is that people wake up to this sooner than later! Another serious issue is that smart devices are making people more stupid. If your smart devices correct your spelling/grammar, perform your math calculations, and wipe your bottom for you, what have YOU become? Remember the saying, “What you don’t use, you lose”? Well, with smart devices running the show, you may lose your faculties at an accelerated rate. This is NOT a pleasant prospect for seniors who want to stay sharp, active and engaged, is it?

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