An internet connected home with no internet
The other day my ISP (Plusnet) suffered a nationwide outage that took my internet connection down for about an hour, after realising there was nothing I could do to fix it I sat down with a book which was rather novel!
A side affect of this internet failure was me no longer being able to control my lighting. I know this sounds a bit ridiculous and it kind of is but its a situation I know could happen and one I am OK with. The road to a connected home is a long one and we have only just started down it, so this will improve as time goes on but for the benefits it provides me with I am happy to endure these occasional issues.
I use the SmartThings system for my home automation, its a little hub that lights, switches and door closers connect to and it then connects to the internet. The idea being when you press a physical button the command goes to the hub, it gets relayed to their servers which looks up what needs to be done, this then comes back to the hub to control the relevant light or door.
There is an obvious problem here and thats the internet, but its a problem thats getting smaller and smaller all the time. Firstly internet connections are getting more reliable so this will get better and as mobile broadband gets cheaper the option of a router with dual WAN (ADSL & 4G) will become more popular so that if one connection goes down there is a backup. The latency of the roundtrip is also being improved with people like Amazon putting its lambda service on their edge connections, all this means that the internet part isn't so much of an issue.
This problem is also being solved in another way, SmartThings are working on moving the decision making into the home rather than in the cloud, this means the hub that sits in the corner of my living room can decide what happens when I press the light switch.
So yes, it is ridiculous that when the internet is down I can't tun on my lights but its something I know about and accept as the downside to the convenience I get 99.9% of the time.