Today’s guest post comes from regular contributor Nick Rojas
Everyone has seen a depiction of what the future will look like at some point. Some of these depictions show what our homes will be like in the future; they show amazing technology that makes human life easier than ever. Looking at these images, it might seem like the future is still a ways off, but that is not the case. The technology we associate with the future is largely here already. The average consumer has access to hundreds of different smart home devices that can bring their home into the future. These devices and gadgets cover a wide range of features. There are smart home devices to clean your floors, turn on your lights, play music, lock your doors, and more. This list will showcase some of the smart home devices available on the market today.
All of these devices and systems run on electricity, so before you invest in smart home technology, ensure that your electrical system is up to date. Check breakers, fuses, and outlets to be certain that nothing needs to be repaired before you add to your house’s electrical load.
Smart Home Hubs/Systems
There is a difference between smart devices and smart systems. A smart system is the overarching command center that controls your smart devices. Smart systems are control hubs, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and they are the thing you give commands to. A smart device is controlled by a smart system. However, not every smart device is compatible with every smart system. When a device is not capable of connecting to a system, the device must be controlled separately. Thankfully, most devices come with a way to control them without connecting to a larger system.
Speaking of smart home systems, there are a few different options. The market leaders are clearly Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. These two smart systems have the ability to connect and control thousands of third party integrations. For example, the Amazon Alexa connects to Amazon smart thermostats, of course, but it is also compatible with third party devices like Nest. The Google Assistant can answer questions other systems can’t because Google owns a major search engine – Google.
There are a few differences between the two systems, but they are relatively minor. Hubspot found one of these small differences as they explain, “For instance, if you tell Google Assistant “I don’t like this song” on Spotify, it will skip to the next one, while Alexa will simply tell you, “Thumbs up and down are not supported on Spotify.”
The most common brand name in smart lighting is Philips Hue. Philips Hue makes smart bulbs that can be installed in any regular fixture. However, these are no ordinary light bulbs, as they do far more than brightening and dimming on command. You can change the color of the lights or set special color coordinated mood lighting. You can even set color alarms so you wake up to a room that is lit blue every morning. These lights can be controlled by most smart systems including Amazon Alexa and, with the help of Philips Hue Bridge, Siri. If you are interested in smart bulbs, but not colored lights Philips also make smart white light bulbs.
Home security encompasses everything from locks, to cameras, to motion sensors. Companies like ADT, Nest, Ring, and Vivint offer different kits that protect different areas of your home. The Arlo Pro 2 starter kit includes 2 weatherproof indoor/outdoor cameras and a base that connects them to the Internet. You can power these cameras either with wire or with a six-month long battery.
The most common security fault most homeowners make is forgetting to lock their doors. Now, smart locks take care of that issue along with adding even more features. For example, the Smart Lock Pro + Connect from August Home is a top of the line smart lock. To lock your door, you can manually turn the lock, use voice commands, or use the August Home app. This means that you can always lock your door, even when you are not home. There is even an Auto-Lock and Auto-Unlock feature that activates using a geofence.
The smart home is no longer a futuristic fantasy; it is a reality. Smart systems and devices bring modern technology to your home all to make your life easier.
Guest author bio
Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. @NickARojas
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