Tech corner

How to use smart home tech for a stress-free January

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Find out how using smart home technology can make your life easier

The new year doesn’t have to just mean a new you, it can be a great opportunity to create a new home too. With the smart home market growing more popular and efficient by the day, 2019 could be the perfect time for you to finally take the plunge into making your house smarter with the addition of a few devices.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled some top tips below.

 

Choosing the right smart home system

There are several options when it comes to choosing the base device of your new smart home. Though they all do similar jobs, it’s still worth looking into their features to make sure you pick the best one for your family and home.

The two biggest competitors on the market are Amazon and Google, with their Alexa and Google Assistant devices. Both types are compatible with a wide variety of other smart home gadgets and appliances, making them ideal for beginners who are just dipping their toes into the sea of combined smart tech.

If you’re a dedicated Apple fan, the Apple HomeKit is probably the obvious choice. Everything on the HomeKit can be controlled from the Apple Home app for iOS, the Apple TV box and the Apple HomePod speaker with its own voice assistant, Siri. Apple has also been the most vocal about protecting any and all of the personal data it captures, so if you’re worried about your privacy being compromised, this device seems like the safest call.

If you’re more of a Microsoft loyalist, you might want to opt for the Cortana smart home, which can be easily controlled via Windows 10 on PCs and mobile devices.

 

Decide which categories you want to focus on

Smart home devices cover almost every aspect of your home life, so it’s a good idea to decide what features you want to focus on the most. Popular categories at the moment include kitchen appliances, baby monitors, cameras and lighting, as well as security systems and thermostats that can save you money on your electric bills in the long run.

Once you’ve decided which features are a good fit for your life, you can check whether they work best with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or the Apple HomeKit to further inform your decision on which one to invest in.

 

Building a specific smart home ecosystem

If you’re not so keen on any of the above, there are still ways for you to join the smart home revolution. A good alternative example is Nest, which is a polished, all-round system that comprises features such as a thermostat, smart plugs, a smoke alarm, various security cameras and a secure alarm system.

Nest is also in the process of teaming up with Google, so if you don’t want to buy a Google Assistant, you can choose this alternative path to help you access the best of both smart worlds.

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