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How to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home

want to have one Smart home?? Then know that smart home appliancesalso known as IoT (Internet of Things) devices, connect wirelessly to each other, thus creating an automated system in your home.

Keep reading to understand how this system works.

What this article covers:

How much does a smart home cost?

First, understand that the price of a smart home can vary a lot?? That’s because the range of connectable devices on the market is now wide enough that you can really bring most functions in your home online. And maybe your ideal smart home setup only needs one or two main devices (sometimes a single device can do a lot) would reduce the cost.

However, the number of smart devices in your home is not necessarily an indicator of the total cost of your smart home. While certain individual devices can be quite expensive, many others are affordable. Also to be considered are subscription fees for certain devices, often required to unlock additional features.

For an entry-level smart home, assuming you already have an internet router and a smartphone, you can buy a device like the Google Home Mini speaker for around $40.

A reasonable smart TV can be bought for around $500, and you already have two main smart home appliances that can do many tasks, although TVs do manage subscription services. There are also smaller items like smart light bulbs for under $50.

So we can estimate that a smart home with minimal devices will cost around $600 or less. An average smart home will cost around $1,000, and the most expensive one will cost around $3,000.

Smart Home: Choosing your home system

Bear in mind that one of the essential elements, which is the first choice of people who build a smart home, is the voice controlled speaker?? This device can serve as a central hub from which many other devices can be controlled.

These devices are manufactured by giant technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Google Assistant

Pros:
  • They have a excellent ability to answer questions and use Google’s massive Knowledge Graph. That means Google Home speakers are built to provide factual answers to a wide range of questions, answer additional questions, and understand a little colloquial English. In the current version, they can recognize different users’ voices. In this way, they look more “human” and natural than their rival products.
  • They are loudspeakers, so they can play songs from YouTube, Google Play and Spotify, or send audio to other speakers in your home. Furthermore, they can send videos from online platforms to your TV. They are also Bluetooth compatible.
  • Is it possible to send commands involving other smart devices like “turning on the lights in the room”. You may make hands-free calls in the US and Canada (but the speakers cannot receive calls).
Cons:
  • If you want a Google Home speaker as the centerpiece of your smart home, you might want to consider the compatibility with other products it’s more limited than Amazon’s (although still huge).
  • Simple loudspeaker models do not have enough buttons (to have them, you need to invest in a model with an integrated screen, the Google Home Hub). Yes, voice recognition is one of the key benefits of a smart home speaker, but occasionally it takes seeing and typing.
  • Google’s speakers cannot send emailswhich even some cars manage.

Amazon Alexa

Alexa is Amazon’s AI interface, used in its Echo series of smart speakers. These days, Echo speakers are pretty affordable.

Pros:
  • Alexa has a huge and ever-increasing amount of “skills”which are equivalent to third-party apps for things like weather, traffic reports, homework help, ordering cars, and just about anything else you can think of.
  • You can send commands involving other smart devices like “turning on the lights in the room”. You can make hands-free calls, but you’ll need an add-on (Echo Connect) to receive calls.
  • Alexa systems are compatible with award-winning Sonos speakersif you really want a hands-free, high-fidelity listening experience.
Cons:
  • Compared to Alexa, Google Assistant devices are better for quickly respond to factual questions, as they have a huge knowledge base. Unlike Google speakers, Amazon speakers need to receive command to change user so they can understand different voices.
  • THE sound quality of many Echo speakers is considered low compared to its competitors.

Apple Siri

We know that Apple products have a certain appeal and loyal fans. However, it is good to clarify that the functionality of Apple’s Home Pod is much less than that of the two products mentioned above.

Pros:
  • The Apple HomePod has undoubtedly the best sound among the three smart speakers discussed here, plus volume controls, so it’s a speaker more real than others. Its main function is to play music. If great audio is your number one need in a smart speaker, then you don’t have to buy an add-on like a Sonos speaker to get great sound.
  • You can create custom commands to control smart home features, but keep in mind that if you choose this Apple product as the centerpiece of your smart home, you’ll need to be willing to invest in the few devices HomeKit compatiblewhich is Apple’s software for connecting various smart devices.
  • You may stream music from your phone to HomePod. Just place your iPhone close to the device and it has a sleek, touch-sensitive top for adjusting the volume. Or, if you prefer to keep your distance, the HomePod microphone can pick up your voice very well from afar.
Cons:
  • Limited compatibility. HomePod is the most expensive and least compatible of the three brands discussed here. While Google and Amazon speakers are compatible with Apple phones, the other way around doesn’t work: you have to use either an iPhone or an iPad as displays for the HomePod to work, and each of those is well cared for. Also, since there are currently no models with built-in displays for HomePod, you’ll pay a lot more than you would for a compact model with a built-in display from Google and Amazon.
  • Limited functionality. It is not for ordering food or transportation, setting calendar events, or calling.
  • If your main interest is querying your smart speaker as if you’re a presenter, it’s probably not a good idea to use a Siri device: it’s not quite as good as the two competing AI systems mentioned here.

Remembering that the pros and cons mentioned here apply in general to the smart speaker line. There are differences between models from the same brand, but we’ve tried to give you the best overview of their different features.

Also, like all technologies, smart speakers are a rapidly evolving field.

Creating your smart home

Currently, there is a very diverse range of smart devices on the market. In that case, it’s best to stick to the essentials. We’ve already covered smart speakers, which are the focal point of many smart homes, but in the following sections we’ll cover several other key smart home devices.

smart lighting

Although a single smart bulb is more expensive than a regular bulb, it saves energy and lasts longer.

Like most IoT devices, smart light bulbs have features that are both useful and more fun. THE possibility to decrease or increase brightness using the phone or even a voice command is probably the main and most practical feature. Changing colors is probably less necessary, but many people love this functionality.

More sophisticated lamps use your smartphone’s GPS (the main controller device for most IoT products) and can know when you enter/exit a room and adjust the lights accordingly.

Smart temperature control systems

Smart climate control systems work on the same principles as smart lighting: the higher-level systems are designed to know what you want and automate much of the standard manual adjustments that must be made in non-smart systems.

smart security devices

The field of smart security devices is quite diverse. You can choose to invest in an entire system or a single device.

Some are DIY (install it yourself), others require professional installation. Some systems require you to do the monitoring yourself, while others come with a subscription fee to have your home monitored 24 hours a day and the police/fire department called when alarms go off.

smart home appliances

Fridges, washing machines, vacuum cleaners… almost anything can be a smart device these days.

For example, Samsung is producing washing machine more sophisticated than ever. The smartphone interface makes it easy to select the exact type of wash you want, including notifications when you’re done. No more need to listen to that whiny voice from the laundry room.

smart plugs

Many smart plugs are compatible with Amazon and Google products, but as you can imagine, few work with Apple, so check the specs for the plug you want to buy.

Some smart plugs allow you to monitor the amount of energy used. The best thing about smart plugs is that they allow you to control non-smart devices without having to buy entirely new devices?? You can even program devices to activate together, for example, turn off the lights, turn on the music and increase the temperature, among other options.

What did you think of the possibility of having a smart home? Leave your comment.

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