Does Home Automation Need to Look Good?


While the technology behind home automation itself is thought to be “sexy,” does the device that controls the tech need to be sexy too?

Home automation and smart devices are leaving behind the aisles of big tech shows like CES and becoming more comfortable in the mainstream store and ecommerce aisles. Not only that, but big tech companies are pairing with other companies, like home securities companies, to provide turn-key, all-in-one home automation and security.

These all-in-one devices are more and more common, but they are still in their first stages of design. So, should the developers be focused on design as much as they should be focused on the actual tech?

Enter the newest buzz from LG: their Smart Security device. This device is supposed to be the device that helps LG one-up its competitors. It’s got everything that a home hub has, but you can also get a home security that includes a security camera in partnership with ADT. For an extra fee, you can also get a dedicated team to monitor and respond to anything unusual that is detected. That means if anyone messes with my house, ADT will be all over it without prompting from me. Sign me up.

So, what is the issue with this device? It sounds like a natural partnering that benefits customers. Well, people are scrutinizing the look of the device. While many of the home automation or home assistant devices that are hitting the market are designed to be more like cylinders, think Amazon’s Echo, the LG device is more…upside down triangle? skinny colander? detached headlight? In short, it’s just odd for a design that seems to miss the mark to come from a big company like LG. Maybe saying the design misses the mark is too harsh, but it certainly strays from the mark that everyone else has been hitting.

The question is, though, does it matter? With this device still forthcoming, and with no indication of price yet, that is to be determined for now. If it does what it says it does, I’m willing to buy into it and to get the full-time monitoring subscription from ADT. The consumer market is fickle though, and a design that strays from the other products on the market could make something stand out, or it could spell its doom.

I’ll be watching the market for this product, and when it comes out, I’ll be happy to try it out to see how the design fits in with my other tech, and to see if I even notice or care about the actual design.

Photo by: Kārlis Dambrāns