The one vital secret to making your house a smart home

CoffeeCatDogKid | The one vital secret to making your house a smart homeRemember that Disney Channel movie called Smart House? Some kid wins a whole house—complete with artificial intelligence and total automation. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Of course, the house turns out to be evil, but who didn’t watch this movie and think, I need that house!

Eighteen years later and now Best Buy has a whole section devoted to smart-home appliances.

Alec has embraced this wave of new technology, so here I am, along for the ride!

Google Home or Amazon Echo
We gave each of these systems a trial run because we couldn’t make up our minds. Although I like how Google Home looks, and I already use Google for email, calendars, web storage, and more, overall Amazon Echo wins my vote. The Echo Dot, to be more specific.

The Echo Dot (Alexa, as we call her) has a few advantages, but her most important feature is her compatibility with other devices.

And that brings me to the big secret—the one guiding principle you should remember as you set up your smart house.

Integration
A few of our friends and family members have also invested in Amazon Echo, but some of them remain less than impressed with its functionality. “All she does is play music,” one friend complained.

I, on the other hand, almost can’t remember what it was like to live without artificial intelligence serving my every whim.

The difference? Integration.

Like I said before, Alec has embraced this new technology. Not only have we purchased the Echo Dot, but we’ve also invested in Philips Hue light bulbs, a Nest thermostat and Nest Protect, and WeMo switches. Now we can do more than just listen to Spotify and ask Alexa funny questions.

We can turn on the lights without leaving the couch. We can adjust the temperature anywhere in the house. If the smoke detector starts beeping, our phones will tell us why. Soon we’ll be installing a smart lock on our front door that we can lock or unlock even when we’re not home.

If you decide to go smart, the key to fully utilizing your system is to integrate it with as many other devices as possible. At first you might feel awkward trying to adjust, but it won’t take long before you feel like you’re living in the future.

—Kelsey

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