June 16, 2017
By Chris Guenther-Dutcher
Recently we have installed Smart Home hubs and Voice Command for several clients. This has given us the opportunity to compare three of the major players in Smart Home technology: Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Kit, and Google Home. We worked with the clients to choose the best option for their particular needs. Each system has their unique abilities and all of them work well.
Our client’s needs are the interesting part of this equation.
One couple is preparing for an extended vacation. Their neighbor recently made the comment that they can always tell when our clients are away. That was a scary notion. The solution was the Apple Home Kit, some smart light bulbs and problem solved. Our clients can turn lights on and off at their home for anywhere in the world using their iPhones.
Another couple has school-aged kids and Google Home seemed to be the right answer for them. They are Android users with existing gmail accounts. We also upgraded their home Wi-Fi to a Google Mesh Network, which provides whole home coverage without any dead spots. The Google Assistant even helps with homework and research….just Google it.
Amazon Alexa, in conjunction with Insteon was the right choice for several of our older clients. Voice command makes it easy for them to turn on/off lights, timers, televisions and the stereo. For these people, arthritis, bad backs and bad knees makes it hard to operate remotes or get out of a chair to walk to a light switch. With Alexa they can also use Voice Command to place calls to other Amazon users without pushing a button. What this means is that our older clients are finding ways to continue to live independently.
The other beauty of these options is that you can start small and build your Smart Home capabilities. Start with a few light bulbs and add as you go with any of these systems. It could change your life or make it possible to keep the life you have.