Domo tics

[Voorburg, Herenstraat; Mú by Ming Hu Chen]

With the Internet of Things coming at us with lightning speed, why haven’t we seen a surge in easily appliable domotics ..? Sure, there have been small little, often not too well-designed and plasticky appliances out there for a while, but they often were in the bargain bins before a full‑scale deployment could take place. And we see trials here and there in offices (cheesily, in Dutch, and video) with bits and parts of true ambient intelligence style domotics. But still, not the real stuff.

If you now say that within our homes, domotics don’t (doesn’t?) take off because of lack of network effects (What are the benefits? [How to size them up and compare/add them?] Where‘s the tipping point?) within the confines of our houses individually, and the prices still being too high (among others, due to the lack of turnover and initial investment recoup), and installation being too cumbersome (all devices need placement and connection, probably to power supplies other than oft- and quickly failing batteries, and either connect cabled (old-fashioned) needing breaking into walls, or wireless, requiring ugly visibility) – I would reply that these are issues to overcome with smarter solutions.

But then, what is the date of construction of Bill Gates’ Xanadu2.0 home [If you’re listening: I would like a tour yes indeed thank you!] that has all the follow-me temperature, lighting and ambient music ..? Over a decade ago; does M$ deliver a full copy solution to every home yet? Domotics Explorer 2.0 doesn’t give too many Bing search hits…

A thing that may need to be settled first, is the general architecture of it all. Sensors and actuators need to be put in place, but how and where; what secondary elements do we need (control centers; where and how many (networked, carry-on or stationary?), signals-generating actuators; separate devices (hi keycard/pin) or built into other things, or programmed into other things (hi smartphone, à la NFC payments, now not so N)). What human control, using monitoring dashboards and some form of input (fingerclicks and voice work well in sitcoms; phone screen swipes, maybe?), can we have, can we allow? Are any ethics involved (haves/have nots; control over one’s environment vs. experiencing new things, conflicts, the commons) ..?

And there’s the question of business models for device suppliers and servicers. Subscriptions with updates of software, and hardware, or plain purchase? What about interconnectivity and multiple standards?

Just check the wikipedia page; so much more to discuss. E.g., re the integration or not, I definitely prefer not, of domotics with “‘smart’ grid” ideas of outside monitoring of our home internals – but connection to the outside may help your fridge to order short stock/supplies. Or what to do when conflicting demands are made within the same room (try sharing music tastes with your kids; they just don’t seem to get Purple, Floyd, or the Maiden or even Zappa).
But the question remains: How to overcome the not-yet-existing network effects requirement ..?

Maverisk / Étoiles du Nord