As you already may be aware, the future of smart homes is here today – at least, in some way. Different devices, all speaking different languages, have to communicate with each other and they do. Unfortunately, your smart home can become “stupid,” taking much longer to set up than advertisements imply. This is one of the many reasons why you need to learn how to build a truly smart home where all devices work in harmony.
How Smart Should Your Home Be?
Today, not much in the smart home industry is truly universal, but software and hardware makers are catching up fast. Devices like Eero routers, Sonos speakers and Chromecast are already simplifying setups that were once complicated. People above a certain age truly appreciate the magic of tapping a single button and having video instantly available from a smartphone to the television.
If you are considering homes like these, start by deciding whether you really want to join the smart home scene device-by-device or through all-in automation. Updating device by device is cheaper and easier, but it’s likely to get messy and especially hard to upgrade. On the other hand, committing to a single hub and platform may be limiting, but it does pay off in the long run.
In truth, the world is not yet at a stage where everything Internet of Things (IoT) can speak seamlessly to each other. Nevertheless, you currently have the option of automating all you can around your home and controlling from separate units, or going through a single central hub.
Individual aspects of the smart home are rapidly improving, and if you purchase a one-off device, you’ll be impressed by what they have to offer. For example, a Philips Hue light bulb or a Nest thermostat can add a little intelligence to your home in a matter of minutes. It’s also easy to rig something up for yourself.
The benefit of the one-off additions to your home is that everything is programmed to work fine the first time, keeping your costs down. It also allows you to focus only on those parts of your home where you want a little intelligence – like your air conditioning. On the flipside, every smart device in your home will have a separate app and nothing really works together.
Opting for a Platform
Keeping everything in your smart home confined to a single platform will save you from studying the ins and outs of smart home apps on your various devices. However, none of the platforms is perfect, which is why many people have decided to hold off on any changes. Instead, they ask friends and family, or use the internet to find out more options and recieve feedback first.
The easiest way of starting your own hub is purchasing Google Home or Amazon Echo and then picking the rest of your toolkit based on what is compatible. Amazon Echo devices are great for gear from companies like TP-Link, Honeywell, Belkin and Philips. The support for third-party products and apps is one of its strongest points compared to Google.
Google Home, as well as its companion Google Home App, has not been around for as long as Echo and this is evident from the fewer number of devices it works with. The number of smart home products that work with Google is not as impressive as Amazon’s, but it contains a list of major companies. Manufacturers like Belkin and Philips have recently joined in the Google party, and Dropcam and Nest devices have always worked, but they are Google subsidiaries.
Other platforms include SmartThings, which is owned by Samsung and supports a wide array of devices. SmartThings brand switches and sensors are fit the usual smart home suspects like Ecobee, Netgear, Belkin and Philips. It also offers integration with both Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Taby G. is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.