The Coolest New Things — Smart Homes
Smart homes are like candy, everybody wants a piece. With all the cool new things your home can do for you with just Wi-Fi and a connected device, it’s no wonder people are rushing out to find the latest gadgets. Millennials are the top consumers, seconded by older adults, but really, almost everyone wants in.
Want to arrive home after a hard day’s work and watch your garage door opener recognize your car and automatically open? There’s an app for that!
Want to walk in and have your house sense your movements and turn the lights on, room by room? There’s a device for that!
Take Smart Home Security Seriously
Because of the very connectivity nature of smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), inherent risks exist in security. Hackers could potentially access your in-home devices and control them. So, take precautions!
- Secure your internet and passwords.
- Buy smart devices only from reputable brands.
- Protect your mobile devices.
Where to Start with Your Smart Home Devices
My Top Pick — A Smart Speaker
Google Home $114. or Amazon Echo Dot $50.
These are the top two brands in smart speakers. I think having one of these is a major enhancement to building your smart home. Personally, I love being able to speak things into being. I feel like a minor deity.
Which is right for you depends on what you will be using it for. I have both of these products, and I prefer the Google Home because of its ability to answer more internet-based questions directly than Alexa (Echo). With Alexa, many skills are available, but you have to research each one, enable it, and then ask Alexa to access it before getting the information you need. However, the more tech-savvy you are, the more functions you may be able to perform with Alexa.
Also, consider what smart devices work with each product. When you start building on to your smart home plan, you will have to match compatibility in branding.
Both speakers pack pretty good quality and sound into a system the size of your palm’s width. Music aficionados might prefer a larger speaker like the Amazon Echo ($180) or the new Echo Show ($230).