Logitech has released its latest contribution to the smart home, and it’s strength is in it’s lack of complexity. Not from an internal technology standpoint, but rather how it will work practically and with many and varied users.
With the Pop button, Logitech aims to make smart homes more user-friendly, not only for the tech savvy people that decided to set it up in the first place, but also the inevitable varied group of people – friends, family and acquaintances who will visit the home and need to turn the lights on, or open the curtains.
Up until now, smart homes have been somewhat limiting in their flexibility with different people. Alexa is activated on voice commands, but you almost need to yell through the wall to get her to do something and other smart devices require an app to be downloaded or an understanding of sometimes complex commands. It’s reminiscent of the original PalmPilots, when users had to learn a specialised language in order to write on their screens.
The Pop’s purpose is to make interacting with your smart home as simple as possible. To this end, you can program commands through a series of taps, or presses of the button. For example, a single press may turn the lights on, three quick taps may turn on the television, and so on. It’s also far more synchronistic than other devices that encourage specific modes of operation, such as being able to control certain areas of the house and specific controls for each. The Pop simplifies this through minimising the areas and reducing the requirement to learn varied commands. In other words, if you are in the kitchen, and tap three times, not only will you turn on the light in the kitchen, but in the living area also. Pop will not be popular with the environmentally conscious.
Even while the Internet of Things continues to create new innovations, it’s good to see businesses also tackling the more practical challenges facing consumers. As we move closer to smart homes in a more complete sense, and the novelty of various forms of technology interacting with each other inevitably wears off, it will be vital that switching on a light is as simple as well, flicking a switch. There is little point in a more technologically advanced home if it’s cumbersome to use and every guest who visits you has to download an app to turn on the bathroom light. These simple problems, are some of the most important.