Tech Tips for the Not So Tech Savvy

Home Automation

What are the best smart devices you need for your home?

What are the best smart devices you need for your home?

By on Jan 12, 2018 in Home Automation | 0 comments

What are smart devices for the home? Smart home devices transform your home into an automated, voice-activated, application-centric center. Install your thermostat from your workstation, watch pets with a remote camera, or set up an alarm with your voice. Amazon Echo speakers and Google Home speakers, two good examples of smart home devices, are cylindrical speakers connected to a power source and the Internet. They can be used as voice-activated music players, but they can also read messages, set alerts, and answer questions like a personal search engine. Below I detail 7 of the best for 2018.   The Best Smart Home Devices   1. Smart Speakers Amazon has redesigned its range of Echo Smart speakers with a new look. Well, Echo mixes more easily with paints and fabrics in your home and has a price reduction from $49.00 (US) to $199.99.  Echo uses Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, who connects through the cloud to ask questions or play music. Amazon Echo Dot works just like her big cousin. It’s Amazon’s most fuel-efficient smart speaker, starting at less than 50 pounds and offering almost the same functionality as the echo, but in a smaller case. Amazon Echo Dot is $49.99 on Amazon. And new to the Echo family is the Echo Show, a videophone and a smart speaker from Alexa. The voice control features a seven-inch touch screen that allows users to make video calls, control home smart appliances, and shop online. It can be used to play videos or use other functions such as using a baby monitor. You can read the in-depth review here. Other Smart Speakers include: Google Home Google followed Amazon in the smart home hub market, which Google launched at the end of 2016. The device can ask questions from Google’s search engine, such as giving restaurant recommendations, answering traffic information and reading a daily schedule. You can connect to several other Google Home speakers, including the new Mini and the upcoming Max. It can also activate Voice Speaker linked to a Chrome Audio linked, or connected to a TV using the Diffusion Google Chrome buttons to your settings. Google Home Mini Google’s Home Mini is the answer to the Echo Dot, this smart home...

Read More
What is the best smart speaker for 2018? Amazon, Apple or Google?

What is the best smart speaker for 2018? Amazon, Apple or Google?

By on Jan 10, 2018 in Home Automation | 0 comments

It has been quite busy in the market for smart speakers lately. After Amazon created the product category with Amazon Echo Show, Google quickly tracked its own version, Google Home. Last year, Apple also jumped into the race with announcement of the Apple HomePod. But that’s not the end of the story. Although each player has his flagship Smart Speaker, there are now many variations of each. Amazon has, among other things, the Echo Dot mini speaker and the show screen, while Google has the mini and max versions in the market. Which of these three speakers deserves a place in your home? We’ll split function by function and compare between the three speakers in a second, but first, let’s look at what intelligent speakers are and why they are made by the world’s top three technology companies. Smart speakers are primarily a home for the voice aids they host. Of course you can control them with a phone to play music like a Bluetooth speaker, but basically, they are designed to interact with your voice. Creating Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant on the speaker in your house makes a lot of sense. While it is sometimes embarrassing to talk to the phone in public, there is not the same social pressure at home where it can be as strange as you want with your new robot friend. Google was created with the automation of voice in phones, but it was Amazon who first built a voice assistant in a static speaker. Google follows with Google Home, a smart speaker using the company’s Google Voice Assistant technology. And now, three years after the launch of Echo, Apple has plunged into battle with Apple HomePod, an Internet-connected speaker using Apple’s Siri voice assistant at home. Amazon has an early advantage, but do not underestimate Google or Apple, which have consistently developed their voice aids on mobile devices for years. So, which one should you buy?Here’s what we think about them so far: Smart speaker hardware In terms of aesthetics, Google Home and Apple HomePod are very similar. Both are smart speakers in the form of air fresheners that are bulbous and relatively inconspicuous. From the 2017 update, Amazon Echo...

Read More