Need expert advice? Call Now - 204.946.5333

Tag List

Gen-x (1)
negotiation (1)
Fsbo (3)
Relationships (1)
Market Report (1)
Comparable Market Analysis (1)
Recovery (1)
Appraisal (1)
Real Estate Business (6)
Assisted living (1)
Prices (1)
winnipeg real estate agent (21)
Mental Illness (1)
Life Insurance (2)
Market Forecast (2)
Fear (1)
Security (1)
Choosing a Lawyer (1)
Property Value (1)
Rehab (1)
Real Estate (39)
Manitoba Securities Commission,Manitoba Real Estate Association, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Licence (1)
Health (1)
Condominium (2)
Aging (1)
Dementia (1)
Closing costs (1)
A day in the life of a realtor (1)
Problem Solving (1)
Manitoba (1)
Inheritance (2)
Customer Care (1)
Stress test (1)
Mortgage (3)
Real Estate Negotating (2)
Wills and Estates (1)
FAQ (2)
Excellent Service (1)
personal (1)
Addictions (2)
Customer care (5)
Sell (3)
executor (1)
shelter (1)
Animal care (3)
Misrepresentation (1)
Deposit (2)
Alcohol Addiction (1)
Impaired Drivers (1)
Social Media (1)
Tenants (2)
FAQs (3)
Insurance (1)
Vegan (1)
Mortgage approval (1)
CREA (1)
Customer Satisfaction (5)
Choosing a home inspector (1)
Buyers (2)
Death (2)
Friendships (1)
Effective Copy (1)
Property Maintenance (1)
Volunteering (1)
Buying A Home (19)
Due diligence (2)
buy house winnipeg (1)
Nervous (1)
Listing Photos (1)
Realtor (8)
Retirement (1)
Winnipeg (9)
Landlord (2)
Alzheimer's (1)
Real estate advice (1)
Hybrid (1)
Education (1)
marketing (4)
Property Pictures (1)
Artificial Intelligence (1)
United Airlines (1)
Pet Care (3)
professionalism (4)
Winnipeg properties (6)
fraud (1)
Patience (1)
Selling A Home (14)
Advice (1)
mortgage pre-approval (1)
Tesla (1)
Smart Home (1)
Cats (2)
Fiduciary duty (1)
Winnipeg Realtors (17)
Renting (1)
Pets (3)
Maple Leaf Foods (1)
Financial planning (1)
Residential Tenancies (2)
Relocating (1)
Buying (5)
seniors (3)
Cat rescue (1)
Blended families (1)
Working for friends (1)
Wants (1)
Customer expectation (3)
Market Evaluation (2)
Real Estate Law (1)
Renting a home (2)
Online Reviews (1)
Consumer Advocacy (1)
Needs (1)
Socializing (1)
Responsible Pet Ownership (1)
Private sales (1)
Financing (1)
Divorce (1)
Value for your money (1)
Listening (1)
Buy (2)
executrix (1)
For sale by owner (1)
agent resources (1)
Womens Shelter (1)
Estate (1)
Pet adoption (2)
Comparative Market Analysis (1)
winnipeg house for sale (1)
Environmentally responsible (1)
Hiring a Lawyer (1)
Ethics (1)
gift letter (1)
Being Helpful (1)
Pet Loss (1)
Bereavement (1)
Impaired Driving (1)
Last will and testament (1)
New mortgage rules (1)
Ad Writing (1)
Market (2)
Winnipeg Real Estate (19)
Not so funny experiences (1)
Internet Security (1)
Manitoba Condos (2)
Real Estate FAQs (3)
client resources (1)
Responsible Pet Care (1)
Real Estate Appraisal (1)
Jeff Stern REALTOR (2)
Real Estate Advertising (1)
Markets (3)
Pre-approved Mortgage (2)
Manitoba Life Leases (1)
Aging in place (1)
Homes Winnipeg (1)
Will (2)
Real Estate Industry (12)
Customer Service (17)
Representing Friends (1)
Commission (1)
Buying a home, Fear, Nervous, Patience, Real Estate Help (2)
Selling (5)
Service (2)
Media (1)
Homestead (1)
Sellers (2)
Bank approval (1)
Condos (3)
Helping People (2)
Bequests (2)
Home features (2)
investing (1)
philanthropy (2)
Manitoba Real Estate (2)
Real Estate Market (4)
Public Relations (1)
Vegetarian Lifestyle (1)
News (1)
Real Estate Tips (8)
winnipeg realtor (3)
Cost of services (1)
Reviews (1)
Income Tax (1)
Relocation (1)
Offer to Purchase (1)
Home Automation (1)
Legal Pitfalls (2)
Life Lease (1)
condominiums (1)
Real Estate Winnipeg (20)
Jeff Stern (2)
winnipeg real estat (1)
Manitoba Condominium (1)
Personal Care Home (1)
Integrity (1)
Technology (1)
realtor winnipeg (3)
Home Security (1)
real estate ads (1)
winnipeg condo (1)
Pride in work (1)
Mortgage Life Insurance (1)
Agents (2)
co-signer (1)
christmas (1)
Animal Rescue (3)
Mortgage Insurance (1)
real estate marketing (2)
Anti-Social (1)
mentorship (1)
Drunk Driving (1)
Re-marriage (1)
Homelessness (1)
home inspection (5)
Helpful Service (2)
real estate agent winnipeg (2)
Risk (1)
Estate planning (2)
Winnipeg Life Lease (2)
Fees (1)
Open House (1)
Downsizing (1)
Capital Gains (2)
Public Shaming (1)
Funny experiences (1)
Lawsuit (1)
Real Estate Help (1)
buyer representation (2)
PR (1)
Private selling (2)
Homestead Rights (1)
Real Estate Photos (1)
CMA (1)
Advertising (2)
Professional Behaviour (1)
Hoarding (1)
Real Estate Mortgage Insurance (1)
Lawyer (2)
Customer Reviews (1)
Property Features (1)

Smart Homes Coming to Canada (But Are They Really That Smart?)

Jul 08, 2017


Finally, the Google Home is now available in Canada.

For years, the US, UK, and AU have enjoyed Amazon’s Echo as their AI personal assistant at home, but Canada has been left out. Google recently dove into the market gap, offering Canadians their (better) version of the AI smart home assistant. 

But I have my reservations…

What Is a Google Home?

It’s not a home. It’s more of a speaker-looking gadget that functions as an artificially intelligent personal assistant. Equipped with microphones, the device picks up your voice commands from in the house, and performs various tasks. It can set alarms and timers, manage to-do lists and shopping lists, or connect to your other smart devices and systems like lights, locks, and heating systems.  You can also ask anything just as you would in a Google search, checking for weather facts or Wikipedia info.

Smart Homes Aren’t New

Smart homes are nothing new. The abilities to remotely control heating and cooling systems, doors and locks, and other elements in our homes was around in 1998 when my wife and I were building our new home. They were new then, and we were pretty progressive to consider such options back then. But, because they were new, these capabilities were fairly costly at the time. Now, with the growth in popularity, it’s much more affordable to integrate smart devices into our homes.


But Are They Really That Smart?

I’ve always been on the leading edge of technology, even to the point of being mocked and thought of as a weirdo. I’m not afraid of new technology. In fact, I love it! ... But I’m not so sure about smart homes.

There’s something about the pervasive personal access devices have in our lives and the shocking lack of software security that makes me raise an eyebrow at these untested smart home integrations.

There are some highly useful conveniences to smart homes. Remotely checking heating/cooling and alarm systems can be valuable as a home owner. Checking in on the pet cam or setting lights to switch on and off when one is away on vacation – this is valuable.

But there are some major downsides, too.

Companies that produce smart devices often don’t provide much, if any security, making the devices highly hackable. Now, the image of a hacker bent over his computer trying to get into your thermostat settings may not seem all that threatening, but making you melt in your house is hardly why he’s there.

Remember the U.S. internet crash of 2016? Millions of people couldn’t access many big sites, including Amazon and Netflix because of malware that had been inserted into the main server. Internet security companies say it happened through “hacked IoT devices — mainly compromised digital video recorders (DVRs) and IP cameras.”

Then there’s just the plain laziness, complacency, and dependence we’re sinking into. Are we really that lazy that we have to talk to a box to have our house do things for us, even turn on a light or conduct a Google search?

And are we really willing to let a private company have full access to every sight and sound in our homes? It's strange… if it were government-owned, we’d all have a loud, public fit about human rights violations. But some unaccountable private business? Yeah, we're fine with that apparently.

We’re becoming sloppy in our self-awareness – privacy is a high price to pay for convenience…

Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and other technology giants strictly limited their children’s access to technology.
Why do you think that is? 
I think they knew that all this interconnectivity disconnects us. Social media makes us anti social, hunching us over our phones, leaving us unskilled and incapable of one-on-one, eye-to-eye, human interaction.  Life is full enough of distractions without our adding more.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier – and, in a way, to a degree, it does – but with each new advance, more and more problems arise. Like privacy invasion. Security breaches – personal and national. Disfigured spines. (You know, from all the hunching) Or “intelligent” homes flicking lights on in the middle of the night because they think they should.

What do you think?
Are smart homes and all this digital interconnectivity really that smart an idea?


Category: Technology

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.