How Working in Home Automation Inspired One Developer to Rethink Smart Tech

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By Heather Corcoran
Entrepreneur Shaun Springer turned 15 years of smart home experience into Astro, a hardware startup that aims to simplify the high-tech home. Here, he shares the revelation that changed his view of the smart home business.

After working for one of the biggest names in home automation left Shaun Springer feeling frustrated by the industry's inefficiences and high cost of entry, he set out to create hardware solutions targeted to urban apartment dwellers. Astro's first product, Twist, an integrated AirPlay speaker and LED light bulb, is currently available for pre-order. 

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How smart is the smart home if nobody can understand it? That's the question that drove Shaun Springer to create Astro, a lighting and audio startup that believes smart home solutions should be as simple as screwing in a light bulb.

At Dwell on Design NY, Springer will join Ted Booth of Honeywell User Experience and Honeywell Connected Home for the conversation "How Smart is the Smart Home, Really?" on Sunday, October 4 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

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"After several years of experience in the industry, I realized that this symphony of contractors, architects, programmers, and dealers could never scale to a broader audience. These systems were carefully installed, programmed, and designed for the ultra-rich, meaning that the Jetsons home would remain a mirage for all but a few," Springer wrote in his essay The Jetsons Fallacy: How I Learned the Smart Home Industry Needs to Change. "All those years of hard work led to me having an epiphany: I was solving the wrong problem."

Get your tickets now to join us for three days of stimulating conversations and exhibitions. For more info, and a full list of our panelists, visit this page at ny.dwellondesign.com.

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"The smart home space is littered with companies that have catered exclusively to the savvy technophile. These products offer a bevy of features and tech-specs with largely unnecessary integrations to attract the innovators and early adopters," Springer writes about the challenges of scaling smart home technology. "The high-tech terms and confusing instructions read like the list of side-effects in a pharmaceutical ad, deterring mass market adoption."

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