Smart Homes in Easy Steps Master Smart Technology for Your Home
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Smart Homes in Easy Steps Master Smart Technology for Your Home

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Smart Homes Contents

About Smart Homes

  • Introducing the Smart Home
  • Controlling Smart Devices
  • Connectivity for Devices
  • Day in the Life of a Smart Home
  • Security Issues

About Digital Voice Assistants

  • Digital Voice Assistants
  • Using Digital Voice Assistants
  • Functionality
  • Using IFTTT
  • Digital Voice Assistant Apps
  • Settings

Alexa and the Amazon Echo

  • About Alexa and the Echo
  • Setting up the Echo
  • Using the Alexa App
  • Alexa App Homepage
  • Alexa Skills
  • Music on the Echo
  • Dropping in with Alexa
  • Using Smart Home Devices

Google Assistant and Google Home

  • About Google Assistant and Home
  • Setting Up
  • Around the Homepage
  • Device Settings
  • More Settings
  • Using and Creating Routines
  • Adding Actions
  • Linking Smart Home Devices
  • Managing Home Devices

HomePod and the Home App

  • About the HomePod
  • Using the Home App
  • Managing the Home App
  • Managing Rooms

Using Smart Devices

  • Installing Devices
  • Related Apps for Devices
  • Smart Home Hubs
  • Registering with Apps
  • Using Multi-Device Apps

Smart Lighting

  • About Smart Lighting
  • Getting Started
  • Setting up a Room
  • Using Lights
  • Customizing Lights
  • Smart Lighting Scenes
  • Creating Routines
  • Settings

Smart Heating

  • About Smart Heating
  • Elements of Smart Heating
  • Smart Heating App
  • Adding a Smart Thermostat
  • Setting the Temperature
  • Creating a Schedule
  • Applying Eco Settings
  • Smart Heating Settings
  • Home and Away

Smart Security

  • Smart Security Cameras
  • Smart Alarm Systems
  • Indoor Security
  • Video Doorbell
  • Smart Locks

More Smart Home Options

  • About Smart Plugs
  • Robotic Lawnmowers
  • Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
  • Miscellaneous Smart Devices
  • Smart Entertainment

Looking Forward

  • Robots in the Home
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • The Smart Home Future

Introduction to Smart Homes in Easy Steps Master Smart Technology

The concept of the smart home, i.e. one in which most of the electronic devices are controlled via voice controls, apps, or accessed remotely, is not a science-fiction vision of the future; it is very much part of the here and now, and a realistic and affordable option for most households.

For a smart home to work to its full potential there are a number of elements that can be in place:

  • Smart home devices. 
  • Digital voice assistants, or hubs. 
  • Apps on smartphones and tablets, and online access

Smart homes can operate without all three of these elements; e.g. smart home devices can be operated without digital voice assistants or apps, but to get the complete smart home experience, it is worth having all three in place.

Range of device

Also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), smart home technology now spans a wide range of devices (and this is increasing regularly) as manufacturers realize the commercial importance of smart homes. Some of the current devices are:

Smart lighting systems, including smart light bulbs and a bridge that connects to your Wi-Fi router. Individual lights can be controlled around the home with an app, a digital voice assistant, or remote control. Groups of lights can also be used to create artistic effects.

Smart lighting apps contain a range of settings that can be used to give you maximum control and flexibility over your lighting system.

Smart thermostats. Heating systems can be controlled to turn them on and off and set the temperature. They can also be used to determine whether there are people at home and regulate the temperature accordingly. In this way, they can be used to save money on your heating bills.

Smart security systems. Extensive security systems, using external cameras, can be installed, and controlled and viewed via an app. 

Smart locks. In addition to security cameras, smart locks can be used to add additional security to your home.

They can be activated by key cards, key fobs, apps, digital voice assistants, time-limited PIN codes, and even remotely. 

Smart cameras. Individual cameras can be used within the home, such as for monitoring a baby’s bedroom, or the outside of a property.

Smart plugs and sockets. Individual smart plugs can be used throughout the home so that devices can be turned on and off without having to physically press a switch. 

 Robotic lawnmowers and cleaners. Tasks within or outside the home can be automated through the use of robot lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, and mops.

These do not all have their own compatible apps but can work independently.

Manual control

For anyone nervous about the prospect of smart home devices becoming inactive due to a technological breakdown (or worse, being hacked and controlled by a malicious agent), it is important to note that most smart home devices can be controlled manually, without any need for wireless connectivity.

For instance, smart lights can be turned on and off by hand, without any concern about the wireless technology that they contain.

This means that if, for instance, your WiFi is not available, you can still control the majority of the smart devices in your home.

Similarly, if you have security concerns about unwanted access to your devices, you could turn off your Wi-Fi and still be able to use your smart home devices, but without much of their smart functionality.

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