I am making my way through traffic driving home from the office, it is 8 pm As I approach my home, I say (trying like hell to not look at my phone) "Hay google, I am almost home"..... Nothing a little louder now "Hay Google:.... Still silence "damn it! half screaming now "HAY GOOGLE" Still my phone and it's "virtual smart assistant" greets me with nothing but silence. Frustrated and muttering to my self I turn to look out the window only to realize, Damn my window is open and what stares back at me is a 75 year old women slowly shaking her head at me with a disapproving look on her face, and that is when I realized this is NOT automation this is me standing around in public screaming at my phone like an idiot! This scenario plays out thousands of times a day, on public streets, in the privacy of peoples homes, as home assistants have become more prevalent this is becoming an ever more common chain of events. Now do not get me wrong I love my Google assistant! I love the 5 Google home devices I have distributed in every room of my home, Much to my Girl Friends dismay, I love being able to talk to it and ask it to turn on the lights, turn down the air, or lock the door. But these things are not home automation not by a long shot. First of all, I have spent hours tirelessly manicuring my Google Assistance routines, building them out for almost any occasion devoting indecent amounts of mind power to coming up with all the different variations on how I may ask to turn my TV off, and assigning them as "shortcuts". I have routines for just about everything, "waking up", "Going to bed", "Getting in the car, "arriving at the office", "walking into my home office", "getting home" you get the idea. It was this last one on my list the one that is supposed to lower the air temp in the home broadcast my arrival and unlock my front door that I was trying to "trigger" that evening in the car when I had my epiphany. While these Voice assistants are great, and I love all my IOT toys Google assistant, Amazon Echo, whatever the ones Apple and Microsoft are building are called are really just a fancy hands-free interface. They are not automation, they don't do things "Automatically' they do them when I ask them to which is only slightly more convenient than pushing the button on my phone. what true automation does is more than screaming at a device to turn on your bedroom lamp because you are too lazy to get out of bed to flick a switch. True automation is that light turning off and the TV coming on when I jump into bed! Smart automation meanwhile means only doing that if it is after 8 pm (because really if it is before 8 I should be working). Its performing tasks autonomously because of input from the environment that can be a command issued by voice or the click of a mouse but in that case, it should be a series of actions. automation can and should also be triggered by the time of day, the weather conditions outside, the completion of a task by another person or system, the delivery of a piece of information which now should be acted upon, the receipt of an email, or text message. These things are what true automation does, especially when it is integrated and tailored to your life properly. Automation, when done right, makes our lives easier, it makes our work, faster and more accurate, it streamlines processes, and it improves our bottom line, it is not me looking dumb and scaring old ladies while being ignored by my phones "Smart assistant"