I'm tired of hearing about “smart homes.” Technologists presume that the forthcoming wave of gadgets will finally solve all my problems simply by connecting everything. I like networks as much as the next nerd, but let's be honest for a minute.

The problem with smart home technology as it is envisioned today is that it exists to solve problems that normal people shouldn't have in the first place. Examples:

  • “My house is so damn big that the living room light switch is 1/8 mile away. How can I turn off the lights without standing up and walking?”
  • “My home theater has 8 remote controls and a bewildering array of knobs. How do I turn down the volume?”
  • “How can I water the plants without going outside?”
  • “How can I check my back hallway smoke detector battery from an Internet cafĂ© in Portugal?”
  • “How can I finally use this $500 phone to unlock my door so I don't have to use a $5 key instead?”

You know what makes a smart home? A modest home with stuff that works for you, and not too much of it.