So I’m here with my favorite nerd, Tim Costello. How you doing, Tim? I’m doing alright….

So I’m here with my favorite nerd, Tim Costello. How you doing, Tim?So I'm here with my favorite nerd, Tim Costello. How you doing, Tim? I'm doing alright.... I’m doing alright. Good. So you’re the electronic geek when it comes to new homes, you’ve been doing this your Home Decor Projects that you Will Need to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse whole life.
Yeah, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Well, you’re the guy to talk to about it and that’s what we wanna talk about. There are so many cool gadgets and tech coming out for new homes. It’s amazing, it’s amazing. And you just got back from the Consumer Electronic Show. Crazy.175,000 people. Which is it for electronics.
How To Do On This Week’s Tidbit The entire world in one place for a week to talk nothing but tech. So one of my favorite things about new homes is home automation. I bet that was a pretty big theme. Oh, you should’ve been there. Yeah? It’s all about home automation. What’d you see?
Well a few years ago, it used to be a couple of people. A couple kinda techy, homey companies talking about home control and automation. Then the mainstream guys the lock guys, the refrigerator guys, the thermostat guys startadding automation and control to their products, so it kinda started to get mainstream. This year, everybody wants your home, everybody. You name it. Samsung, LG, Nest, every company in the world basically wants to control everybodys’ home. So is that a good thing or a bad thing that all these big players are getting involved?
Well, it’s probably a good thing that a lot of people are focused on it ’cause we’re gonnahope they come out with some really good solutions. But what I’ve noticed is there’s two primary business models and they are both and they’reboth somewhat flawed. The first one’s what I call wall garden. Wall garden is pretty simple. You’re a lock company. You put some intelligence in your lock a couple of years ago and you go, “Hey, you know what? We’ll offer thermostats now, and maybe we’ll offer a coffee maker and maybe sprinkler system,and some other things in there, a smoke detector in your house.”But I have to buy everything from you.
And as you know, getting all things from one company isn’t always the best idea. So you’re giving up freedom of choice and you’re giving up best of breed capabilities. So that’s model A, wall garden. Right. Second model, I kind of call it the sniffer. You put an intelligent device in a house that basically just sniffs the communication protocols, WiFi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Z-Wave. These are the standard ways these smart devices communicate.
And I can tell all the smart things in your house, so I can know, “You got 47 smart thingsin your house, this is great.”And I can make a list of them, and I can dump’em all into my app so you can sit there andcontrol your thermostat and your sprinkler system and your lights, and all that kindastuff. Sounds pretty good to me. Yeah, sounds good except think about how we changed over the years. So much of a product’s value now is in the software, not the hardware. So all these apps for the individual things are awesome but when I dump them into my app,we lose we all of that sophistication. It kind of makes ’em all generic. It’s a generic thermostat program, a generic sprinkler program, a generic light program,so I’ve lost a lot of the value.
Sure. So I think there’s a third rail. The third rail’s coming, and I think what that is is you’re gonna have open freedom,you’re gonna have open source, open freedom. But the sniffer is gonna allow them to be an API where you’re gonna pull in these appsindividually so that we keep the software value of all these products as well. So we’re gonna get best of breed, freedom of choice. We’re gonna be able to integrate all these things in into one app but I’ll have all thesoftware capability integrated into one app. You get the best of both worlds.
I think so. So you get the companies to do what they do best. You wanna lock company making your locks but you want the detail of their software. Exactly. I think that’s where we’re going. Yeah. Tim, thank you so much.
My pleasure. So Tim and I are gonna be discussing all the cool new gadgets and software and home automationevery week, so stay tuned. And if you missed one, go to and get caught up. We’ll see you next time.