There is something about a house that can speak to you and controlling lights at the tap of your fingers that just makes you feel fulfilled. Just a few years ago no one would believe you if you told them that one day they would be able to brew coffee and monitor the temperature of their home while they are at work. When someone says “smart home” you should be thinking about connected plant sensors, smart locks, light bulbs, automatic garage doors, and beyond. Here we’ll take a look at four exciting automation products to look for in 2017:
Amazon Echo speakers are among the most popular speakers in the world of smart-tech. They have a 9.2-inch cylindrical design with circular mike buttons at the top and an array of “dot-like” speaker a uniformly lining half of the speaker’s length all the way around. The top half is smooth just like the bottom part and right in the middle is the speaker. The female persona called Alexa, which powers the Amazon Echo, responds to questions like “what’s the weather” and more. You can use voice control with this device to control appliances in your home such as the Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue Light Bulbs, as well as several other third party appliances. There is a smaller, less expensive version of Amazon Echo called the Echo Dot.
Unlike the Amazon Echo speaker, the Apple HomeKit is not hardware but software. Apple HomeKit allows all of your smart devices to talk to each other making it easy for you to control them at the same time. You can use Apple HomeKit to connect and manage appliances or accessories from several manufacturers, not just Apple products. These appliances include Wink lights, smart fans, thermostats, sensors locks, detectors, speakers, and more.
One appliance works with another seamlessly and simultaneously without manually controlling them with their specific third party apps. For instance, a smart fan can communicate with your thermostat to manage the temperature in your home and your smart car can talk to your garage door. Apple HomeKit-enabled appliances can also communicate with Apple products like the Apple TV and the iPad. You can also control appliances using voice commands through Siri.
Google Home is a listening pod or speaker with two far-field microphones. It responds to questions you ask and allows you to control appliances in your home through voice control. The device records your voice as you speak, streams it to the cloud for processing and gives the answer or the action you requested. You can have a simple conversation with Google Home because of its quickness and ability to understand the context around a question. Google Home can gather data from all Google services, which means its users can check their Google calendar, send emails via Gmail, play music, and perform several other tasks. You can also use it with Netflix and misdiagnose yourself by using voice control with WebMD.
Smart heating is a general term that stands for all smart heating devices that can connect to the internet. These include Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, GoControl, and much more. In a world where green technology is becoming more popular, efficient heating systems that do not waste energy and manageable using smart devices are just the fix people need. A smart heating system like Nest placed in a room that you use regularly will moderate the temperature of the whole house to match that room.
Other automation products that you may want to look for in 2017 include TP-Link Smart Plug, August Smart Lock, Samsung SmartThings, and more. The beauty of automation products is that they make you feel like you have your own personal assistant that never gets tired or asks for a raise.