Many people have asked us, “Why did you make SimpleSENCE a WiFi-based product?” There are solid reasons: no additional equipment, works off the existing router in your home, dependable technology, etc. But there’s another reason. We considered making it a fully connected product, working with home automation hubs and becoming part of a home’s complete ecosystem. But honestly, we find smart homes…a little scary. Listen to this story about a friend of mine (we’ll call him Jason) who has a very advanced, fully equipped smart home. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

My smart alarm clock went off this morning, 15 minutes earlier than the 6:30 a.m. I had it set for. “What’s going on?” I wondered out loud, apparently loud enough for my clock to hear.

“You know what traffic is like on Mondays, Jason,” my clock responded in a soothing yet affirmative tone. “Leaving 15 minutes earlier will make a huge difference.”

It seemed a little strange for my clock to be evaluating my commute, but the logic was irrefutable. Shrugging my shoulders, I shuffled into the bathroom and picked up my smart toothbrush. In the middle of my absent-minded ritual, the bristled instrument informed me that it had made a dentist appointment for me on Wednesday.

“But I’ve got an important meeting that day,” I protested. “That’s not going to work.”

“Sorry,” intoned the brush.  “I think your dental health is just a little more important than one meeting.” Again, pretty strange but hard to argue.

I dressed quickly (remember, Monday traffic), went into the kitchen and opened my smart refrigerator. Not much that would qualify as a healthy breakfast, but a piece of cold pizza would fill my stomach for the short-term. I got it firmly in my grasp but was unable to move it from its spot on the shelf. It felt heavier than Thor’s legendary hammer. Strain and struggle as I might, it was going nowhere.

“Cold pizza isn’t a very good breakfast, Jason,” said the refrigerator, in a voice eerily similar to my mother’s. “There’s a container of yogurt in the back. Take that instead.”

“No,” I protested weakly. “It’s been there awhile, and I don’t like the flavor.”

“The expiration date isn’t until tomorrow.  And if you don’t like the flavor, why did you buy it?”

“I…I’m not sure.  I must have just picked it off the supermarket shelf without looking.”

“Well, maybe you’ll be a little more careful next time.”

Forget breakfast, I thought, I’ll just grab a cup of coffee and get out of here.  I went over to my smart coffee maker, which should have had a full pot of fresh caffeine waiting for me.

No such luck. The machine was on, but the pot was empty.  I set it last night for 6:30 a.m. sharp, but there’s no coffee.

“What now?” I moaned.

The coffeemaker’s answer was immediate – and stern. “You ever hear of Fair Trade coffee beans?”

“Excuse me?” I answered meekly.

“I’m sorry, did I stutter?  I said, Fair Trade Coffee Beans!  The beans you gave me last night are not Fair Trade coffee beans.”


“Meaning I will not brew them.  Don’t you have a social conscience?”

“I thought I did.”

“Well, apparently you were wrong.  Go get your coffee at the convenience store on the corner.  I’m sure they don’t have a social conscience either.”

Alright, I like having a smart home and smart devices as much as the next guy. But there’s smart and then there’s smarmy. It was time to get away from these disrespectful devices. Bunch of no-good, nonsensical know-it-alls.

I walked outside and slammed the door, glad to leave my bad-mannered residence behind.  As I got in my car, I heard the disapproving voice of my smart lock in the distance.

“What time can we expect you home?”