These days, we're so used to the convenience of smart speakers and voice control, along with touch screens and apps, that we tend to forget that the original way to control the smart home was with physical controls. Multi-button control pads and wall controllers were commonplace years ago, but Apple, Google and Amazon want us to believe that everything will be voice controlled in the future. Well, I beg to differ.
Does your smart home have a few too many smart "things" and scenes that get tedious to trigger by voice? Do you forget what they're called, or perhaps the extra "trigger" words to activate them? Obviously most of us don’t speak in special code or in strange syntax. If these assistants of ours could be spoken to in a more natural way, it would probably make the smart home a bit helpful.
Better functionality with the Philips Hue Motion Sensor, HomeKit Accessory Notifications only when you're not at home, extra mics for the Amazon Echo? Those questions and more in this Q&A!
Questions this month revolved around HomeKit smart locks and multi-location dimmers, along with a curious viewer who's not sure if a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi smart device will talk to a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network.
Google announced this new feature at Google I/O in May, but didn't mention when it would go live. Well, the wait is over...at least for the United States (for now). Actual (and free) phone calls to real phone numbers is now available on Google Home.
IKEA’s initial roll-out of smart lighting is a good value with a limited set of functionality, whether you use the physical remotes or the app and their gateway. But luckily, IKEA built Tradfri on the ubiquitous Zigbee standard, so it’s possible to use the Swedish smart bulbs on other smart home controllers.
Mesh networking, whether it’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, seems to be the question of the month from multiple viewers, along with HomeKit multi-user capabilities and how to get started doing smart home consulting.
What's the better choice...smart dimmers or smart lighting? Other than the obvious differences, it can be a bit of a tricky decision to make. Cost can be a big factor, once you add up all of the lighting that you wish to control.