Fascinating post from +Scott Jenson
about home automation that echoed many of the things I learned as I put together my home automation system.
I came to the same conclusion that humans aren't algorithmic, but I wanted something that would work when I wanted and not when I didn't.
For example in my system at home, pressing one button puts my apartment in to "morning" mode, it turns on the lights in the bedroom, living room, and bathroom, turns the air conditioner in the living room on (if it's above a certain temperature) and turns the stereo on to NPR.
When I leave, pushing another button puts the house into "away" mode, turning off all of the lights, the air conditioners, stereo and enabling the DropCam.
Similarly, if the apartment is in "away" mode, and I come home, a door switch on the front door turns on the appropriate lights, if the inside temperature is above a certain level, turns the AC on, and based on a BLE beacon I carry with me, it turns the DropCam off.
Everything is also connected to the cloud, so I can turn the AC on or off, adjust the temperature so it's nice and cool when I get home, adjust the lights, turn the stereo/TV on and off, without being home.
I'll readily admit that this works really well because it's one person in a small apartment, but it works well, and it works every time. Maybe it's not so much macros, but simplification of repetitive tasks. To me, that's where the biggest value comes from.
I think voice control is still a ways off yet, I've looked at a few options, but I'm not sure it's ready yet for what I want to do with it.