April 27, 2020 Rodney Cowled

A Non-Techie Living in a Smart Home: What’s it like?

“Imagine waking up every day and realizing you’re the least ‘smart’ thing in your home. Blow to the confidence? You bet” – My wife.

Introducing my wife, Ranita. She’s here to give you a non-techie’s perspective of living in a smart home.


In all seriousness, as someone with, let’s call them ‘baseline’ tech abilities – living in a smart home has definitely been a learning experience. For many of you out there who are embarking on the smart home journey for the first time AND don’t have a computer science degree, consider me your reassurance that it’s both easy & worth it.

With eyes wide open, here’s what you’re getting yourself into…

1. You’ll forget that underneath all the ‘smarts’ your home is still a functional home

One evening my husband came home to find me sitting in the darkness, in the fetal position. You see, our internet was down and my normal “Alexa, evening mode” was useless.

I’d momentarily forgotten our lights weren’t JUST smart but had real live switches.

The lesson here is the best smart tech is so frictionless it becomes a part of your life in a seamless way. So seamless sometimes that a dodgy NBN connection can bring everything down.

2. Smart tech is plug-&-play (mostly)

If you plan to use your smart home tech the way it was intended, in most cases, it’s pretty plug-and-play.

Case in point – we recently gifted the Ikea Smart Home Hub & switches to my father (a fellow non-techie). He’s been able to add, subtract & reconfigure his set up seamlessly.

Mind you, the SAME Ikea Home Hub is in our place and my husband has hacked it to do several things Ikea probably didn’t intend – but regardless, in most cases plug & go makes it easy to get Smart quickly.

3. It’s easy to control your smarts

I have half a dozen apps that keep our smart home running, all from my iPhone. I would say 90% of it is done via various Amazon Alexa devices we have in the house, but on my home screen, I have the Ring app for the doorbell and Sensibo for the air conditioning to name a few.

These are very intuitive to use and don’t need a computer science degree to configure.

You can usually sign into a family account which means everyone in your home, including kids, can easily operate your tech.

BONUS: You get to have a giggle at the expense of the occasional house guest

I walked into our house one day to hear some family house guests loudly yelling for “Alexis to please turn the TV on”. Two things – one, who is Alexis? Two, our TV (at the time) was not smart enough to be voice-operated.

It gave me a full 5 minutes of joy until I handed them the remote. Priceless right?


I hope you’re enjoyed that small glimpse into what it’s like to live in a smart home as a non-technically-inclined individual.

If you’d like to learn more about Smart Home Tech, check out my other posts.

SMART HOME BLOG