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HomeDecoraciónHow to create a SmartHome and not die trying (I)

How to create a SmartHome and not die trying (I)

‘Domotic’ seems like a salty word from a science fiction movie in which an intelligent robot called HAL9000 turns against us and uses the appliances in our house to rebel against us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still a long way off (though not too far).

If you stop to think about your house already has a number of domotic appliances. Any appliance with a programmer could be considered a (semi) smart device. But the arrival of smartphones and Internet of Things (small devices that connect to your wireless network and can be controlled from your mobile) have increased the number of gadgets in the home that we can setup.

 

 

If you stop to think about your house already has a number of domotic appliances. Any appliance with a programmer could be considered a (semi) smart device. But the arrival of smartphones and Internet of Things (small devices that connect to your wireless network and can be controlled from your mobile) have increased the number of gadgets in the home that we can setup.

Currently you can buy almost everything, always with the adjective ‘intelligent’ added to the trade name. Blinds that go up and down alone, coffee makers that prepare your breakfast at a specific time (you have to place your cup beforehand), smart plugs, security cameras with facial recognition, locks with automatic opening, smoke detectors with emergency notifications, baby controllers, water irrigation, etc … All this connected to your mobile with its respective App.

But the key to home automation is not in the gadgets that we can install in our house. The key is integration. Controlling each device with a different App does not help us to simplify our day to day at all. The key will be in the integration and compatibility of systems like HomeKit and Google Home that can control the different devices from a single App or with voice recognition through Siri, Hey Google, Alexa, etc. The configurations that we can do already depend on each user and each house, but the trick will be to unify them all so that they communicate with each other and can be automated and learn from our daily habits. In this way we can evolve the word Domotic into SmartHome, since we are not talking about devices separated from each other, but an intelligent integrated and functional system that becomes a habitat that responds to our needs.

But, how to start? My recommendation is that you focus on some basic appliances and that you evolve from there little by little. Among them I can recommend my Top 3:

 

Forget the Router of your telephone Company

 

 

Nobody gives away anything, and operators even less. Their routers are usually very basic, and that makes the wifi signal of our homes is very limited, or even nefarious. We all know the typical signal interruptions and the router reboot trick. That is why we will need an efficient device that will help us improve our signal, increase the speed and expand the number of devices that can be connected to the network without any loss. Everyone should retire the router they give us and store it in a drawer to collect dust. Here you have a comparison of routers for all tastes and pockets.

This is a ‘must’ in any home.

 

Smart Thermostat

 

 

Inside all the gadgets, this seems to me one of the most basic. We can automate the heating of our house for hours or even by geolocation. But the most important thing is that these devices learn from our habits and can manage the heating in an intelligent way (now posible). This not only helps us save money on the bill for electricity, gas or fuel; but it also helps, and greatly, our environment.

Nest was one of the first smart thermostats and is still one of the best, especially if you have Android. If you prefer iOS devices and integration with HomeKit, one of the most recommended is Netatmo, since you have other gadgets that you can add to your SmartHome system as external and internal weather stations, smoke control and pollution, smart cameras with facial recognition, plugs, security devices, etc.

Take a look at a comparison of thermostats.

 

Smart Lightning

 

 

Another gadget that I love, though not as basic as a thermostat, is a system that can control the lighting of our home. In this section the best device without a doubt is Philips Hue, which has a base that controls the different types of bulbs, led strips or switches that you can install in your house.

The level of configuration and automation is very high. Even being able to integrate it with your Smart TV (with compatible models) to create immersive scenes with what you are watching on your TV. The starter kit is below € 200 and worth a try. In addition, next year Ikea is expected to sell bulbs with HomeKit integration, so it is likely to lower the price of intelligent lighting and that you can add bulbs to your system more simply.

 

 

A speaker which talks

 

The most hyped device of the moment are Multiroom Speakers (with battery and 360º sound) that integrate Virtual Assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri. Apple will launch its HomePod at the end of 2017 and we will have a battle for sound and virtual assistance in our homes. For now it is early to know if these devices will have a clear benefit beyond reproducing our music via bluetooth through our mobile, but the predictions say that this device will be able to become the nerve center of all our smart devices and control them by voice commands. Hopefully soon we can say:

“Siri, turn on the TV and recommend a movie for tonight, put the notifications in silent mode and the heating up, I’m a bit cold. Let me know if the baby wakes or if it starts to rain. By the way, have I left the garage door open? ”

 

Search, research and analyze

The key, before buying anything, investigate what functions it has, how it will integrate with other devices and whether it will really help you simplify your daily life. Do not get carried away by the novelty or attractive design of these devices. Think first of how it will work with you and your family, since not everyone has the same level or the same type of use for the technology. Get informed before buying and be cautious when deciding which gadget is most recommended for your home (and for your pocket).

In the next post we will continue talking about smart devices, this time a little bit more advanced, that help to create a SmartHome that really works. Recommended Blogs:

XatakaHome

CNET

Engaget