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What Pop Culture Gets Wrong About Smart Homes

Oct 11, 2017|

If there’s one thing that has always been prevalent in pop culture, it’s technology. Sometimes, it’s even ahead of the times. Facial recognition software, self-driving cars, and robots all appeared in movies and television long before they were a reality.

But there are times when pop culture’s depiction of technology isn’t always accurate, especially when it comes to smart homes.



Let’s debunk some of the smart home myths that are prevalent in pop culture today:

Myth 1: Your smart home Artificial Intelligence can turn on you

Fiction likes to depict a darker side of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where AI becomes self-aware, rebels, and tries to destroy the human race (think Skynet in Terminator or HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey).


Fortunately, the smart home AI that helps you control your home is far less sinister. No evil AI is lurking behind your smart home system. The AI in smart homes creates a centralized ecosystem that self-regulates home monitoring, control, and energy conservation. It does this by tracking your preferred settings over time and learns to adjust your home around your typical routines.

Myth 2: Smart homes can read your mind

While we like to think smart homes can anticipate and service our every whim, the reality is, smart homes can’t read minds. You’re still in control of your home and can select different smart home features based on what you want to do.

That said, there are smart home features that are pretty impressive in their capabilities, like the Vivint Smart Thermostat, which has built-in Smart Assistant that automatically adjusts the temperature based on your location and activity. You can also easily control the temperature using your voice, an app, or directly on the thermostat.

Vivint Smart Thermostat thermostat

Myth 3: Only the wealthy and elite can afford smart homes

More often than not, the smart homes depicted in movies belong to the uber-wealthy. These sleek fictional smart homes boast features that look anything but affordable — home security systems that can be armed or disarmed with the touch of a button and lights that automatically turn on when someone enters a room, for example.


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The reality, however, is an affordable smart home is within reach. In fact, a smart home can even help you save money on energy costs like heating and cooling.

Woman carrying child up stairs

Myth 4: Only tech geniuses can operate smart home

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a whiz kid to run a smart home. If you can use a smartphone, then you can manage a smart home. The Vivint app lets you manage your entire home from one app, making it simple to control everything from your lighting to your security system — no IT skills required.

Man using Vivint app

Myth 5: It’s not a smart home without a robot

Remember Rosie the Robot Maid from The Jetsons? Or the robotic granny in The Electric Grandmother? Or Robin Williams as a sensitive housekeeping robot in Bicentennial Man? In pop culture, smart homes and robots are synonymous, featuring life-like robotics with human characteristics that cook, clean, and take care of pets.


As incredible as this would be, robotic vacuums are about as close as we are to actual robots that can perform household chores. This type of technology requires highly complex AI and internal mechanisms that will likely take time to perfect.


When it comes to smart homes and pop culture, the line between fantasy and reality is often blurred. Although plenty of misconceptions exist, a growing number of people are discovering how smart homes make life more comfortable, convenient, and secure — and that’s reality.

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