Technology may seem to be rushing forward, but it isn't ready to knock on our front doors yet.
That's the view of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which collaborated with Elon University in North Carolina recently to assess the state of the smart home in America.
Lee Rainie, who headed the project for Pew, told Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Umberger that she asked more than 1,000 technology observers and researchers whether they foresaw a connected household commonly available by 2020 or whether there were too many obstacles, leaving the home of 2020 about the same as current homes.
About half of the respondents felt that even if the technology was there, barriers such as companies' lack of interest in working together would prevent smart homes from being readily available. Costs were another frequently cited barrier, Rainie said.
But optimists said that the value of the homes would appeal to buyers, with "a financial benefit as well as a personal comfort benefit," Rainie said, and they suggested that tax and zoning codes could be adjusted to ease burdens. "A driver of this," said Rainie, "would be incentives in public policy as well as what's happening in the marketplace."
Source: "A slow start for smart homes," Chicago Tribune (7/19/2012)