Smart Home Automation

This post talks about some of the things you can do with your smart assistant to automate your home.

Smart Home Automation

I’ve talked about Smart Assistants in a previous article.  This post talks about some of the things you can do with your smart assistant to automate your home.  There are a vast array of options of there.  Some it pays to do if you’re building or renovating but most things can be done in your existing home by introducing devices that connect to existing power points, light bulb sockets, doors and use wifi.

Doorbell

Doorbells are a very common integration into a smart home.  Popular ones include Nest, Arlo and Ring.  Many include a camera and microphone so you can see who is at the door and interact with them, enabling you to provide instructions to a delivery driver for example.  When coupled with a secure door lock they provide the complete ability to manage the front of your house even when in the office or away.

Door Lock

Adding a smart door lock, particularly if you have a smart doorbell enables you to see and hear who is at the front door (or any other door you set this up on).  Schlage, Yale and Samsung are some who offer products in this space.  Many include a camera and features that enable you to remotely unlock the door so you can let a delivery driver place a delivery inside the house for example.  Cameras are often motion activated and can record to a specified storage location so you can keep a record of what has gone on.  You can choose locks with or without a pin code and many allow you to enable access for guests or provide restricted access (for a limited time) to a professional service visiting if you are not home (e.g. plumber, electrician).

Garage Door

Have you ever been driving down the street wondering if you left the garage door up?  This is one issue a smart garage door will solve for you.  Similar to smart door locks you can open many of them remotely as well as receive a push notification if you are out of a certain geo-location and the door is up.  Most of these can be retrofitted to existing doors so there’s another potential location the delivery driver can leave parcels.  Chamberlain MyQ is one example.

Security Cameras

Ring, Google Nest, Arlo and Eufy are some of the main players in the security space.  Floodlights have cameras built-in and most of the cameras work on movement or heat sensors to ensure they’re only recording relevant footage.  The usual array of indoor and outdoor cameras and sensors are available that you would expect from a security system and cloud storage is common as well.

Lighting

You can do a lot of things with smart lighting – automatically turning them on based on geo-location, command or as part of a schedule is only part of their ability.  You can utilise globes or strip lighting that can change colours.  For some extra fun, Nanoleaf Canvas is a panel system that will interact with music amongst its many features.  You are only limited by your imagination, and budget when it comes to smart lighting.  In smart platforms such as Google Home they can be allocated to rooms so you can easily control where lights should be on or off.

Speakers

Smart speakers come in all shapes, sizes, levels of sound quality, and with or without a screen.  At the cheaper end of the spectrum, you have the Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Dot.  Devices like the Google Nest Hub include a screen for additional functionality.  At the upper end of the spectrum, there are soundbars from Sonos and Yamaha that provide high-quality sound and integrate to your smart assistant of choice.

TV’s

Many TV’s now have Amazon Alexa and/or Google built-in.  Whilst a large majority have Google Chromecast built-in you can get a TV with Amazon Alexa for under $1000 in Australia.  Android TV’s typically also have Netflix, Stan and other apps pre-installed now and the ability to install additional apps on them.  When connected to Google Home they become very easy to use.

Power

One area where people can easily leverage smart technology and help the environment is in the area of smart power points and boards.  Many of these allow you to create schedules so they automatically turn on and off at specific times enabling you to reduce power consumption overnight and have everything back on and available when everyone wakes up in the morning.  TP-Link, SmartThings and D-Link all offer solutions in this area.

Integrations (IFTTT)

Lastly, there are other tools available to help further integrate and utilise your smart devices.  IF-This-Then-That (IFTTT) is an app that allows you to create jobs that occur based on various triggers.  For example, once you reach a certain location from home this can act as a trigger to turn on the lights, open the garage door and turn the heating on for example.  Other triggers could be emails or push notifications from other devices.  Tools like IFTTT enable you to really start to use the power of smart devices to make your life easier.

Overall, smart devices enable you to simplify your life and help you focus on more important things.  The initial setup for some things can be tedious but the benefits can be well worth it based on what you want to use them for.

In future posts, we will delve into these items in more detail, and some areas we haven’t covered here including smart kitchens.

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DISCLAIMER
I do not recommend any particular product or service. This is an individual choice you should make based on your circumstances and situation. I receive no commission or payment for the products mentioned, they are examples only.

About the author

I specialise in driving digital transformation in organisations. My success is based on a philosophy that is business-led, where I align best-practice in technology with business strategy and customer requirements in a way that is efficient and cost-effective. I enjoy wearing multiple hats leading a ... more