Want to make your home smarter?

Setting up a smarthome is becoming easier every month with new, cheaper devices coming into the market regularly. At our place, I have installed a Google Home (3 in fact as they are so cheap) with some power control devices and the whole family can use them to make our lives easier.

Here’s a selection of some of the things we can use voice control to manage now

  • Lights. Some are grouped together so we can just say for example ‘turn the lounge lamps off’.
  • Outside bore pump – this one is really handy as I often forget to turn it off before closing up the garage which is where the switch is for it
  • Water feature – similar to the bore, but this one has been set on a timer so it switches on in the morning and off in the evening
  • Bedroom TV – this can be switched on from anywhere in the house and I have experimented with the Google Home ‘Routines’ which are ways of doing multiple things at once, so in this case we can say ‘Ok Google, bedtime’ and she (we use the female Aussie accent voice) says ‘Ok’ and she turns the TV on, sets the volume to 20% and plays a relaxing YouTube relaxing music video for us!

Google Home can also be used for any of the Google searches you can do with your phone or computer too – so a few of examples of this are:

  • Hey Google, set a timer for 8 minutes (great for boiling hard boiled eggs)
  • Hey Google, whats 325 degrees in centigrade?
  • Hey Google where did I put my passport (you tell her to remember stuff)
  • Hey Google, play Abbey Road by the Beatles (she’ll play it using Spotify)
  • Hey Google, what’s the capital of Peru? (handy for grandkids homework!)

So, as you can see it isn’t just a gimmick and you soon get used to talking to the grey speaker in the kitchen as if it were a family member. We try hard to be patient with her when she misunderstands us or says ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you with that yet’ or similar.

The system I have setup can also be accessed using a phone app when we are away too, so if I’m not sure if I have turned the pump off for example, I can check this and turn it off. It’s handy when we are away for a spell too because we can set the lights to turn on and off to make it seem someone is home.

If you are interested in finding out more about setting up a smarthome system just let me know and I can advise you of how to go about it and assist with the setup process. It can be surprisingly easy to do and not that expensive also.

Andy

 

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