How smart are you? Thu, Feb 15, 2018
For someone who surrounds themselves with technology, I have found myself to be a rather slow adopter of new or trendy tech. This was most evident to me when I was looking for ways to improve the quality of life within my home. See, most of us have heard of Alexa and the various other conversational AI's through the news/ marketing. Some of us even laughed when we heard about refrigerators that you can talk to or tell what groceries to order (gotta be rich to buy something that frivolous, right?). But the reality is that "smart" home features have smashed into our culture like the Koolaid man through a brick wall. They have these things for everything now. From light switches, to thermostats, door bells, flood lights, network routers, smoke alarms, door locks, YOU NAME IT. If you want your home to be decked out like the 1999 film Smart House, you can just visit your local Best Buy or throw some items into your Amazon shopping cart.
What I discovered to be the most alluring part of the smart home features, is that a large majority of these products work together in a kind of seamless experience. For example, you can totally buy a Google Wifi router, an Ecobee thermostat, an August SmartLock, and control it all with your Alexa voice assistant. It doesn't matter that some of these companies are competitors, because no one wants to be the one providing a limited experience! This makes it really easy for the casual consumer to enter the smart home market. It was certainly true for me. I just started by buying an Alexa device during Black Friday and now my goal is to completely deck out my home in coolio smart features that make my life easier. Here is a list of features that I have invested in thus far, and I'm going to be honest ... there isn't an ounce of regret in me.
* A voice controlled assistant in every room of my house
* A thermostat that knows the temperature in every room and that I can command from the comfort of my own bed.
* A doorbell and floodlight that send a live video feed straight to my cell phone. If anyone approaches my house I get an alert and can warn them I am calling the police (even though I'm probably on vacation in Tahiti).
* Lights that I can program to be on during certain times of the day or turn on/ off from a remote location.
* A doorlock that I can open remotely for the house sitter.
* A robot vacuum cleaner that I can activate by saying "yo, please vacuum the living room". Or even start cleaning on my way home from work.
Now, to be fair, I probably went overboard with buying all of these toys. I certainly don't NEED any of these items. But they are cool and have added a load of handy tools to assist with chores and home security. If it wasn't for that low entry cost ($30 for an Alexa dot), I probably wouldn't have even bothered. 10/10 was worth.