The Smart Home Interface Comes Full Circle

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Here at, we’ve always been intrigued by how we interact and interface with technology, in the home and beyond. The evolution of the smart home has come full circle, or it is at least on its way to doing so. During the course of some recent meetings with architects and technology professionals, we have noticed the home automation industry reverting back to its roots.

Past Interfaces

A decade ago, automation systems were installed to oversee everything in your home. However, as companies like Nest and Sonos began offering applications to provide device-specific control, the singular system was phased out in favor of a suite of apps on your phone and tablets. The appeal was an easier to use interface that provided a superior experience versus proprietary control system tablets that were expensive and quickly felt dated due to new models.

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Present Challenge

We are at a time as an industry where the fragmentation of devices, and their applications, has created an overwhelming amount of apps needed to control the smart home. With individual device-by-device control there’s no possibility of running a “Good Night” or “Turn Everything Off” scene. With your suite of apps for example, you need to click through the Sonos app for music, the Lutron app for lights and shades, and the Nest app for thermostats to name a few.

An app for each device used to be a convenience, but that ease of use has now been replaced by confusion and frustration — especially when trying to shuffle through every other app on your phone or tablet to find what you are looking for.

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Moving towards the future

With the help of the Internet of Things, we are now able to bring together and access various connected devices on one platform. The singular system is making a comeback to not only re-simplify the user experience, but to also accommodate the newest interface … voice! combines both in order to provide the same elegance and simplicity of a device-specific app for whole home control.

Control all of your devices on the Josh app’s interface is designed to utilize text, touch, and voice to control your home. Along with control, the Josh app allows users to organize devices and rooms as well as add unlimited aliases (nicknames) so that their home will understand the variety of ways they refer to their environment. This is taken a step further with the ability to create scenes, which give the user the ability to trigger multiple devices simultaneously with the touch of a button or a trigger command.

Access to Josh Scenes (Left) and Editing a specific “It’s Chill Time” Scene (Right)

As the industry looks forward to all of the options for home automation, the need for one wholistic interface is becoming increasingly clear. This need also includes voice, which eliminates the use of a physical user interface all together. At Josh, we are looking forward to being a part of the evolution back to a single all-inclusive platform.

Casey is a member of the Business Development team. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Casey graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Administration. A former collegiate athlete, he enjoys staying active and going on new adventures. is an artificial intelligence agent for your home. If you’re interested in learning more, visit us at

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