In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the most basic human needs are physiological. This includes making sure food is in your belly, air is in your lungs, and you catch a decent amount of Zzz’s. The second layer of human needs are security-based, including having peace of mind that you have a roof over your head, and your family is protected.
Perhaps the area where home automation has had the greatest impact so far is in Maslow’s second most basic need: security.
We’ve talked before on the blog about how Kickstarter-backed Peeple makes your front door more secure, but what about the things that aren’t so obvious? How do you stay protected even while you’re sleeping?
Steve Guyer lives in New York City and works for an entertainment company. Recently, he was awoken early in the morning by an alarm from his Nest smart CO monitor. “My girlfriend and I were woken up by the alarm at 5:30am,” Steve said in an interview with Resolution Products. “I texted my landlord and called 911. I was worried about others in the apartment building.”
This led to an evacuation, and the fire department coming to handle the situation.
Were it not for Steve’s Nest alarm triggering, he or other building tenants could have fallen ill—or even worse.
Steve mentioned during the interview that because of his story, several of his friends have purchased CO monitors, and he definitely recommends others invest in home automation.
When asked what he likes about his Nest home automation system, Steve said, “I like that I don’t have to think about it.”
While that may not sound like much, it actually speaks volumes. Behind all the technology and bells and whistles of home automation is the fact that it provides peace of mind. Making the home a smart home means the onus of thinking falls on the device itself, and not the consumer. These devices meet basic human needs, which means they shouldn’t add layers of complexity to consumers’ lives.
Steve’s story is one of many where home automation provides security without having “to think about it”. Covering off the security need, we can look at home automation as a tool that fosters the human ascent to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy, self-actualization.