Category Archives: Connected Home

Frustrated with the clash of names in my “Smart Home”

I just want to vent a touch.  Why is it that my “Smart Home” is not very smart?  If I look at the 27 connected devices I have in the home, and the names for these devices, it does not seem that hard to make them work across systems.  The two key ways I control things are via voice with Alexa, and HomeKit on my iPhone.  (I don’t use Siri much due to lack of my success with it)

So.. tonight I was trying to use the Alexa app to create a group called “Downstairs”.  OK.. so, let me go back and see what the actual naming conflict is then.. Was it my Hue?  Lutron?  Nest protects?  Nest Thermostats?  .. damn, it was a Thermostat named “Downstairs”.   So, I re-named it to “Downstairs Nest”.  Fine.  Now..  what happens when I look at the list in the Alexa App?  It appears Nest reports some stupid names.

Luckily, Alexa is smart so when I saw “Turn up the temperature downstairs”, it knows that only the Downstairs Downstairs Nest can accommodate that command.   But what about if I had TURN ON, and multiple devices had an ON command? Ugh.

The Connected Home space is complicated.  With Nest, Alexa and HomeKit, we are battling for naming conventions.  Luckily, at this point, Lutron does not have it’s own rooms model.  Just for a quick view in the top level items, I inventoried the various apps.

As you can see, its a joy to think through.  Anyway.. my quick vent. This was mainly to document my learnings in the Connected Home space .