Home automation is still in its infancy, and as the name suggests the concept revolves around computerizing and networking different items, fixtures, and fittings in your property. This turns your home into what is commonly referred to as a smart home.
If you’re technically minded there’s a wide range of weird and wonderful projects you can undertake to turn your “home” into a smart home. However, the exciting thing is that we’ve now reached a stage where you can benefit from home automation without needing an advanced computing degree to set the systems up.
With that in mind, here are some of the latest advancements in smart home tech that anyone can integrate into everyday life.
Virtual Digital Assistants
There’s been an explosion in the popularity of virtual digital assistants in the past few years. Amazon’s Alexa is probably the most well-known product in this category, but Google’s “Google Home” is rapidly gaining market share too.
As the name suggests these products are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled devices that can perform actions for you by simply speaking to them. They form the cornerstone of any modern smart home setup, and they’re surprisingly easy to install.
Just by saying something like “Alexa, what’s the weather like in Pooler tomorrow” or “Ok Google, get me the number for The Trisha Cook Team” your faithful assistant will search the internet, find the data you want, and speak its findings back to you in a surprisingly convincing human tone.
These tasks are all things you could do manually, but the convenience of being able to simply speak a command without having to stop whatever it is you’re doing is something that can be appreciated.
And the best bit about these digital assistants?
They’re surprisingly cheap.
Products You Can Integrate With A Virtual Digital Assistant
To try and keep things focused on such a broad topic, let’s look at a few products that you can integrate easily and effectively with virtual digital assistants to smarten up your home.
One of the simplest projects you can undertake is connecting a Bluetooth speaker to your home network and then adding your Spotify account to it. By doing this you could then say “Alexa, play my dinner party playlist in the dining room” or “Ok Google, turn down the music in the kid's bedroom” (the benefits of which are obvious).
WIFI SMART PLUGS
As the name suggests, these are plugs that connect to your network and can be programmed to turn on at predetermined times. When connected to a virtual digital assistant you could say something like “Alexa, turn off the TV in the kid’s bedroom” or “Ok Google, turn on the coffee machine” to perform actions at a distance.
Smart bulbs are usually able to produce a wide range of different colors and levels of brightness. They allow you to create pre-sets which can be automatically activated through voice command (and combined with other commands too). For example, “Alexa, start dinner party mode” could create ambient lighting and trigger the Spotify playlist we talked about earlier with a single command.
Smart thermostats are a complex topic that deserve their own post, however, the concept is reasonably simple. They essentially allow you to have a far greater level of control over the temperature in each room due to their advanced sensors, and to cut a long story short – they save you money.
You could say “Alexa, enter vacation mode” to reduce the temperature while you go on vacation, or you could say “Ok Google, increase the temperature in the master bedroom” on a particularly cold night.
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE…
We’ve barely scratched the surface with the possibilities of home automation here. The amount of user-friendly home automation products on the market is increasing dramatically as the years go by.
In fact, progress is happening at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to predict where the smart home trend will end up in 10 years time…
But we sure are excited to find out!
If you are looking for a home to store all of your new smart home tech gear, contact us today at 912.737.2935! We'd love to talk to you!