The dumb home
For a keen early adopter of new tech, I’m very traditional when it comes to gadgets around the house.
Not for me the internet-connected thermostat or app-controlled lightbulbs. When it comes to basic home comforts, I prefer them to be as simple as possible. Even though these gadgets tend to have manual, offline operation that means you should never be left without light or heating, the fact they’re complex devices connected to the internet can still cause problems when you’re not looking.
Take June’s fancy smart Oven. This device uses crowdsourced data to help cook your meals to perfection. But some have also been automatically been heating up to 400 degrees unprompted. As The Verge reports
One owner’s oven turned on around 2:30AM and broiled at 400 degrees for hours while he slept, and he only noticed when he woke up four hours later. Nest cam footage captured the exact moment it turned on: the oven illuminates his dark, empty kitchen in a truly Black Mirror-like recording. This owner says his wife baked a pie around 11:30PM the night of the preheating incident, but she turned the oven off once she took the pie out.
June blames user error, but there have been similar stories about smart thermostats. Coming home to a roasting hot house in the middle of summer doesn’t sound like fun.
Whether it’s user error or not, more complexity equals more problems. And sometimes, simple old tech is just a lot less hassle.