Smart homes are not dreams anymore, neither are they only reserved for the eminently rich. Home Automation solutions are increasingly becoming affordable and practical for tech enthusiasts around the world who are looking to save on time and optimise their lives.
They are a practical and sustainable investment with great returns in the way of cost savings as well as convenience. So what do you need to get started? First things first, you’ll have to decide on your smart home ecosystem. Choosing the right smart home ecosystem is a serious decision because all your hardware will you unified by it.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings are the major ecosystem players in the connected home arena. Amazon Alexa
Alexa, Amazon’s Virtual Assistant is currently the best-selling and most affordable voice assistant in the market. Alexa works through its brand of Echo products and a host of other smart speakers with Alexa enabled. Apart from playing your favourite music, reading the news it also can switch on/off your lights and appliances (this will need smart switches). Alexa is one of the most prevalent ecosystems on the market with a wide range of compatible devices such as thermostats (Ecobee4), lights, TVs (Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Editions) and more.
While some are smart speakers and devices with Alexa built-in, the others are compatible devices that work with Alexa. The second type of devices works when controlled using voice from another Alexa device. Alexa can identify and control connected compatible devices once you enable the skill of the smart device.
Much like Alexa, Google Assistant that works through the Google Home and other speakers powered by Google Assistant delivers an unmatchable experience of a smart home being controlled by your voice alone. All Android smartphones come with a built-in Google Assistant, that can pretty much do everything you want it to do, play music, get news updates, take calls, sends messages, control smart home gadgets.
Much like Alexa, Google has devices built-in with the Assistant and devices that can be controlled by it. The major driving factor behind the success of the Google Home is that it is the default assistant of Android users who comprise 80% of the smartphone market. With Google Assistant being the default voice assistant in all android devices and people's familiarity with the app gives it an edge over Alexa. The Assistant works in tandem with the Google Home app on Android or iOs device. To add a new device you just need to simply tap add device button and follow instructions.
Apple Home Kit
HomeKit is an Apple technolog