As I sit down to write this article I have just asked “Alexa turn kettle on”, “Alexa play The Beatles Greatest Hits” and “Alexa turn on energise in Living Room”.

Ok, kettle has boiled and I have made myself a tea, let’s get cracking. If I mention the above to some people they will most likely smile, nod and be on their way pretty quickly …. However, I am of course referring to Smart Home. Do you use Smart Home? Do you even know what Smart Home is? Are you put off by going into the Smart Home area in stores because you think it will confuse you even more? As an early adopter of Smart Home and technology in general, I have numerous devices set up in my home. Do I need these devices? No! Do I want these devices? Yes! Do I feel these devices help me and my family operate more efficiently and make me feel safer? Yes!

One second it is getting a little cold now, “Alexa raise the temperature by 5 degrees”! That’s better ….

If explained and demonstrated well, I believe a high percentage of families would introduce Smart Home into their lives as an impulse purchase with the opportunity to grow with other connecting devices over time, the reason being as mentioned above it can help with efficiency in the home, helping you feel safe, looking after the household, having fun times and more. If I use my family for example, my wife would not be a typical customer for Smart Home. However, after explaining and demonstrating it well, she now uses it on a daily basis from setting timer alerts whilst baking cakes in the oven with Amazon Echo to checking the air quality in our 2-year-old daughters room with Netatmo Home Coach.

I recently purchased a Smart doorbell, but why? A fair and great question. The perfect example being when you are out buying your weekly shop and your doorbell goes. You will get a notification on your phone where you can notify the driver there and then to leave your parcel in the paper bin at the side of the house as you’ll be home in no longer than 10 minutes.

Late last year we had work carried out on our home and we had to move out for several weeks. Being at work every day and having a young daughter meant it was impossible for me to visit our home every evening, and really there was no need. With my Netatmo Smart Home camera I could log in at any time to keep a track on the builders but also get notifications of unidentified faces if there was to be any intruders!

When away on a family holiday recently, I made sure I have my Philips hue lights set to come on at different times throughout the week in the evening, giving the impression of activity in the home while away. These are the same lights that came on automatically when we pulled up in the drive late at night on our return as I have linked the lights up to my Smart Phone and it set up geographically. Whilst leaving the airport I also made sure I turned the Nest thermostat on so we came in to a nice warm home.

I use Amazon Echo as the hub for my Smart Home, from getting notifications on my daily commute, controlling my music throughout the house, adding last minute items to my shopping list, selecting my film for date night while setting the mood with the lighting. These are just a few examples on how I use Smart Home, but the list is endless.

Next time you are in store, do not hesitate to go into the Smart Home area, and make sure you ask any questions you have on Smart Home and experience it first hand with a demonstration.

I am really interested to hear your comments or questions on Smart Home and if you have invested or are looking to invest in Smart Home technology.

James O’Brien – Client Services Manager @BigPicture

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