If you know anyone with autism or Aspergers you’ll know that one thing is sure to upset them. That’s when things don’t play out as they expect. It’s not so much about whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – it’s more about whether things are different.

I like to say that I don’t really mind if the difficult things are difficult, but I get upset when the easy things are difficult. We watch out for that at SMC.

In our world as ‘system integrators’, we have lots of opportunities to add sophistication to the operation of equipment within the home. Sometimes that can be useful. Setting the alarm as I leave the house and knowing that the lights and music will go off at the same time, is probably a good thing (especially if I know it is actually going to happen!). Just like being able to turn all the lights off with one button is a pretty good idea too.

What isn’t good, though, is if you find it more difficult to watch TV, or change the temperature, or open the door, after you’ve spent a load of money on your new home. That’s particularly true if you like the way things used to work, or how things work in your other home.

SMC app integrated control
It isn’t always about being ‘better’ – it’s mostly about things working as you expect

Many years ago, at the dawn of the internal combustion engine, all cars worked differently. Now the user interface for the car, is standard. The steering thing is round and in front of you. The ‘go faster’ pedal is on the right, and the ‘go slower’ pedal is to the left of it. The indicators are always in the same place. This means if you can drive one car, you’ll probably be able to drive any car. I can’t afford a Ferrari, but it’d be exciting to have one, and at least I know I’d be able to drive it.

This thinking is helpful when thinking about integration. Not quite ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but something like that. At SMC our designers and programmers concentrate on three things above all others – simplicity, reliability and consistency. That’s what our customers value above everything else.

It’s wonderful if things perform better – like that Ferrari, but it’s always better when things work just how you expect them to. Every. Single. Time.

– Steve Moore