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Old 03-14-2017, 07:58 AM   #21
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I've dabbled in it, with wifi cameras and leak detectors and thermostats. But I think the tech isn't there yet to go whole hog. Too buggy, too undependable, too many "standards", and way too little security. I might try a keypad door lock, but I think that's about it until the units start playing together more nicely, and the developers have time to secure the devices instead of just blasting them into the market as soon as the code works once in a test.

However, mechanical timers. I use the heck out of them. Both for a semblance of security, as well as convenience. Set it and forget it. That's my kind of automation.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:23 AM   #22
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I have two homes and wanted to get some security device to allow monitoring when away. Have been extremely happy with Canary. For a one time purchase of approx. $170 and with wifi in house, you are protected. It provides a notice on your phone if it detects motion and you can see stored video or a live feed. Lets you monitor temp, humidity. If you see a problem with intruders you can push a button and activate an alarm or call police. Even has night vision. No ongoing fees. Been using for about a year and love it. JMHO
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:33 AM   #23
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I tend to be an early adopter with technology, but I am also very wary of privacy issues. Take Google Home for example, sounds mildly useful, but it listens 24/7 - pretty sure we don't want that. Probably 98% of our private conversations audio content are harmless/of no consequence, but there may be some small percentage we'd like to keep private. Who should decide, you or Google? So far at least, Siri only listens when summoned.
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Google Home is always listening for the phrase, "OK, Google" so it can take its instructions.

The issue that has some people concerned is the phrase "always listening."

Since Google collects information about what users are searching for online, what phrases they're using in their email, what directions they want in Maps and where they are day to day, what more information could it be collecting about what users are doing in their own homes?

Could the new data being collected be even more personal?

"There are plenty of privacy issues with this type of always listening technology," said Dan Olds, an analyst with OrionX, a technology analyst firm. "It's obvious that any device that is always listening could also be always storing and always analyzing anything that is within earshot of the receiver."

Olds added that Google Home could help Google amass a whole new range of information about people.

"It could give Google a hell of a lot more personal data about users than they get now," he said. "That microphone will be a witness to every verbal interaction in the home. It will also know what you watch on TV, what you listen to, and, obviously, when there's no one home."
Of course Google says 'we won't store your data.' That's what they said about search early on, no longer true at all! They store and monetize more and more every year. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
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Google, however, told Computerworld that user privacy was foremost in designers' minds when they developed the device.

"All the devices that come with the Google Assistant are designed with privacy in mind," said a Google spokesperson in an email. "We only process speech after the hotword "OK Google" is detected. If the hotword is not heard, the audio snippet stays local on the device and is discarded."
http://www.computerworld.com/article...t-privacy.html
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:34 AM   #24
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:50 AM   #25
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I just haven't bought into the high tech house yet. I have a friend that has and I just look at what he has.. I just think most of it is fluff.
I can't convince myself that $250 for a nest thermostat was going to have that much payback in utility costs. I had no problem spending extra on a multi-stage high efficiency furnace or a high efficiency tankless water heater.

Most of what is discussed here would be easy to design. For me I don't see the need. I'd rather spend my $ elsewhere.
All this wifi security sounds great until someone cuts your cable line. Unless you have a wireless (cell) internet backup you have little to protect yourself. And many of these devices provide another place for people to hack.

At this point I don't find most of this compelling. Maybe some day.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:56 AM   #26
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I have an Emerson Wi-Fi thermostat and love being able to control the temperature with my phone. I bought it a week after I retired...the previous programmable one worked fine when I had a more "regular" schedule, but now that I'm retired my schedule varies too much and a regular programmable thermostat isn't as useful.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:57 AM   #27
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Doing an experiment now at the cabin while we are having house built. Have installed the Insteon hub and can control outside floods and 4 or 5 lights indoors. Hand to trun on from phone while still driving up there.

Have net enabled garage doors on Florida home and current home and web enabled thermostats in both houses. Seeing if I can get them all tied together with either Amazon echo or Google home, have not decided which one t0 try yet. Have cameras in all homes.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:57 AM   #28
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No wish to automate due to privacy concerns.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:59 AM   #29
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In my case the wifi cameras aren't for security, they're for curiosity and peace of mind. However, you're right about the cable. We had a power outage, and even though we have a generator for some reason the router didn't come back up so we're out of the water until I can get a neighbor to go in and reboot it. The cable company can't do it remotely. Next year I'll be adding a UPS for the router.


I remember when we built our big house in MD 9 years ago, I put in a wire closet and ran cat6 and coax cable to every room. Only used it in a couple of spots, and mostly it's just an annoyance at this point. Technology moves too fast to lock into something too early. If I was serious about home automation I'd just wait until whatever I want was old and well broken in, then set it up. For now I'm just playing with a few things for fun and inconvenience.
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Luddite here
Old 03-14-2017, 09:30 AM   #30
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Luddite here

Nope. None of the chores mentioned in any of these posts are so onerous that they are worth handing control to G**gle. Why would I care about remote starting the clothes dryer when it's not going to load itself anyway?

Meanwhile, the downsides are unlimited: privacy invasion, unwanted purchases by overeager Alexas, and constant interruptions sparked by false alarms. Not to mention the North Korean hackers who are just itching to turn on my sprinklers while I'm mowing the lawn!

Worst of all, it would be way more effort to learn how to install, setup, program and synchronize those tasks than to just do them myself. Especially since all those devices will be obsoleted within a couple of years, and then I'd have to learn it all again. My objective in retirement is to do LESS w*rk, not more.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:38 AM   #31
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Nope. None of the chores mentioned in any of these posts are so onerous that they are worth handing control to G**gle. Why would I care about remote starting the clothes dryer when it's not going to load itself anyway?

Meanwhile, the downsides are unlimited: privacy invasion, unwanted purchases by overeager Alexas, and constant interruptions sparked by false alarms. Not to mention the North Korean hackers who are just itching to turn on my sprinklers while I'm mowing the lawn!

Worst of all, it would be way more effort to learn how to install, setup, program and synchronize those tasks than to just do them myself. Especially since all those devices will be obsoleted within a couple of years, and then I'd have to learn it all again. My objective in retirement is to do LESS w*rk, not more.
My goodness, I thought I was worst until I read your post. After the Wikileaks about CIA, I now think twice about my Samsung smart TV. Husband and I have to be careful what we do in the living room where we spend most of our time napping.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:39 AM   #32
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I control most lights and ceiling fans with Alexa + Wemo, as well as Nest thermostat. I also have 5 IP cameras (2 inside and 3 outside) that are recorded 24/7 to a 2TB HD, can be viewed remotely with iphone, ipad app.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:48 AM   #33
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My goodness, I thought I was worst until I read your post. After the Wikileaks about CIA, I now think twice about my Samsung smart TV. Husband and I have to be careful what we do in the living room where we spend most of our time napping.


I'm only second-worst, but I'm working on passing this guy:

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Old 03-14-2017, 10:06 AM   #34
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...

Worst of all, it would be way more effort to learn how to install, setup, program and synchronize those tasks than to just do them myself. Especially since all those devices will be obsoleted within a couple of years, and then I'd have to learn it all again. My objective in retirement is to do LESS w*rk, not more.

People like me like the challenge of making things work
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:09 AM   #35
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Slowly moving into some home automation although we did choose not to go "whole hog" with our recent remodel.

So far:
1. Two Trane Nexia wifi enabled thermostats. One in main house, one in Casita. Turn AC/Heat on/off while away.
2. Liftmaster wifi enabled garage door opener. No more wondering if we shut the garage door five minutes after we left.
3. Sonos whole house wifi stereo system. Control all music, speakers, etc from our phones.
4. Have a Google Home although at this point haven't used it much nor have we tied it into any of our existing home automation.
5. Leak sensors on all indoor plumbing.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #36
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One of the advantages to a Wi-Fi thermostat is the ability to easily monitor your home's temperature when you're away. Yes, you can get alarms and you should have someone checking the house anyway, but the ability to simply look at your phone to see the current temperature at any time from anywhere will add to your peace of mind.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:21 AM   #37
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I don't see any reason for machines to do these things.
I have perfect confidence in household staff: butler, housekeeper, maids, footmen, chauffeur, gardeners, etc.
After all, isn't that what they're employed for? I think they would be offended by the implication they weren't up to the task!
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:53 AM   #38
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I don't see any reason for machines to do these things.
I have perfect confidence in household staff: butler, housekeeper, maids, footmen, chauffeur, gardeners, etc.
After all, isn't that what they're employed for? I think they would be offended by the implication they weren't up to the task!
Well done!
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:11 PM   #39
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Closest I'm doing is installing coaxial cable and extra telephone jacks throughout the apartment, which was built in the 1960s and only had one coax jack in the living room for a master antenna that no longer exists. I'd like at least two coax jacks in each bedroom. I want the cable concealed in drywall soffits with access panels. This is a crazy-big job for someone who's never worked with drywall, especially on these walls (plaster and diamond lath on steel channel studs), but I successfully finished one soffit and I'll eventually do some more.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:13 PM   #40
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I don't see any reason for machines to do these things.
I have perfect confidence in household staff: butler, housekeeper, maids, footmen, chauffeur, gardeners, etc.
After all, isn't that what they're employed for? I think they would be offended by the implication they weren't up to the task!
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Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
Well done!
+2, I laughed.
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