I’ve an unhealthy amount of smart gadgets at home. Enough so that it’s worth running an orientation session when friends come to visit.
This is what the Alexa does, here’s which light switches not to use, don’t be scared if the Roomba attacks. That sort of thing.
I don’t know how long we’ll live in this place. It’s more than likely we’ll move at some point. So what happens to the smarthome stuff we’ve accumulated?
When we hand over the keys to the new residents – do we hand over all the cloud passwords as well? Or do we factory reset everything and let them go through the dull process of setting up new accounts?
Some stuff is probably easy to move. Unplug the LIFX bulbs and replace with poundshop lights.
Some stuff is probably hard. Do I unwire the Tado Thermostat and replace with a generic version?
Tado, to their credit, have a procedure for people moving house. You need to provide them with:
- A copy of your ID (photo or scan)
- Your signature
- Firstname & Surname of the new user
- Your Email address associated with your tado° account
- Email address of the new user
- Telephone number of the new user
A bit of a faff – and possibly annoying to the new occupiers to not be able to easily set the heating until they’ve moved in, configured the WiFi, and registered for an account.
Now imagine doing that for every hardwired gadget you have – the light switches, the connected cooker, the smoke alarms, the doorbell, the security system. A nightmare which adds to the stress of an already fraught situation for both parties.
The Nest Protect smoke alarm suggests that you should factory reset alarms you inherit and then manually add them. When I move into a house, do I want to spend the first day looking up manuals online to try and work out which buttons to hold down in order to claim the devices as my own?
This is, of course, the epitome of “first-world problems” – but it is one that most people will have to face in the coming years.