May 9, 2020 Rodney Cowled

Smart Speakers: The Brain of Your Smart Home

What are Smart Speakers?

Smart speakers are smart home devices, which have a microphone, internet connection & a speaker (some also have screens).

By themselves, smart speakers are merely voice-controlled Google search machines.

BUT paired with other smart home tech, they become the brain & nervous system of your smart home.

Smart Speakers Are The Brain of Your Smart Home

Smart Speaker Echo Shoe 5
Amazon Echo Show 5

The secret to a cohesive smart home? A central controlling unit, a brain, which brings all of the different parts together.

Smart speakers without other smart tech (e.g smart light bulbs, heaters, fans etc) are meh. Equally so, lots of smart tech without a smart speaker is clumsy.

Bringing together smart speakers & smart tech, this is where your smart home is born.

Pair the two and this is what you can expect.

1. More Options, More Choice

As long as they are compatible with your chosen smart speaker, you can pick and choose different products from different brands. A light bulb from one, a smart plug from another, outdoor speakers from yet another.

You’re no longer stuck with the products produced by one company.

Pro Tip: To know if a product is compatible with your chosen smart speaker, check the packaging. It will say “works with Alexa/Google Home” or something similar, to let you know it’s compatible.

2. Voice Control

When you pair your smart home tech with your smart speaker, you’ll be able to forget which light is Lifx & which one is Hue. You’ll be able to just say “Alexa, turn on the bathroom lights” or “Okay, Google make it brighter in the kitchen”.

Your smart speaker will do the heavy lifting, work out which light belongs to which brand and pass the message along.

3. One App, Not Hundreds

Jumping from one app to another to control the lights, then the heater, and back to the lights is a pain.

Linking all of your different devices, and brands, together with a smart speaker means you’ll also be able to control them from one app. Open the Alexa/Google app on your phone & turn off ALL of your lights in one click, regardless of the brand or breed.

4. Routines – The Real Superpower of Smart Homes

This is where smart speakers really come into their own.

This feature alone, makes smart homes smart & smart speakers worth buying.

What is a smart speaker routine?

Smart home routines are a list of actions to be completed together. Instead of doing one thing at a time, you can group together a bunch of actions.

Routines can be triggered by a single voice command, at a time, when specific conditions are met (e.g. Temperature > 30C), & more.

Routines for Common Activities

We’re creatures of habit and most days we do the same things. When we’re cooking dinner we turn on the same lights. When we watch TV we close the same blinds & set the volume to the same level.

All of these repetitive activities can be set up as routines. For example, you could set up:

  • A “TV Mode” routine for movie night
    • TV on
    • Lights Dim
    • Blinds close
  • A “Cooking Time” routine
    • Lights on in the kitchen
    • Music Plays

This is just the surface of what’s possible with smart home speaker routines. We use ours to irrigate our gardens, control our garden lights & close our blinds when it’s hot outside.

How to setup smart home routines click here.

Give it a try and let me know what you come up with.

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