Remember the Jestons from 1962? Back then, the thought of the future was so uplifting and positive; Rosie the robot, flying cars, smart communication devices, automatic small appliances and lights all by year 2062.
Fact is, Rosie is now Roomba, fully self driving cars are a decade away, smart watches and smart phones put infinite knowledge in the hands of almost every American citizen, fridges, coffee makers and slow cookers are now able to be controlled by your phone or tablet. You buy an electronic assistant to turn on your lights, add an item to a grocery list, start a kitchen timer, act as an intercom, tap into your wifi cameras, or adjust the room temperature. 2062 came earlier than expected!
After recently purchasing a home, I decided to go as smart as possible with my new purchase. Starting with a vacant home allowed me to easily make changes to hard-wired devices like wall switches, cameras, and light fixtures. Other things that are on the to-do list are garage door sensors and controllers, door locks and automatic blinds. Other easy upgrades that can be completed with occupied, are smart plugs that plug into wall outlets, door/window sensors, motion sensors, water/moisture sensors, sirens, light sensors, and screw in LED bulbs that either turn on/off, dim or even change color. I have also added wifi cameras throughout the home that can be accessed through my phone or tablet and also an external wifi video display that connects to Amazon Echo devices to allow for voice control over all the above mentioned items.
Many questions came up around the idea of whether or not to have a hub for the smart devices. I was able to set up most of the smart home devices without the use of a hub, where I began to see the need was for more advanced needs like smart locks, garage door controllers, moisture/motion/light sensors and IFTTT sequence (IF This Then That). I found that the HUB is only necessary for the very advanced settings, or if you purchase a device that needs a HUB. WeMo, TP Link, some Cree lights, and a few others can operate using the Wink App or Amazon Alexa without the HUB. I choose Amazon product over Google because of the amount of Google products I already own, it seemed safer to diversify my products so Google wasn’t keeping full tabs of what I say in my home and what I purchase online (even though there is no stopping them…). The Amazon product seemed more advanced, utilizing screens to also tap into your cameras (like the Amazon Show and Spot), make purchases and even video calling to your loaded contacts.
I ran into some issues using the Wink Hub 2. I choose this over Samsung for similar reasons as to why I choose Amazon over Google mentioned above. After calling tech support and speaking to one of their programmers about specific function I was looking for out of the devices that are connected. What I found out is that this technology is only about 4 years old and still being developed. There are still many advancements that will take place and stay tuned as I continue to smart up my house, I will update when significant changes take place!
For Smart home questions or to start a Smart Home search, I’m here to help! Ethan Frelly 503-218-3838.