Perhaps they know something I don’t, but for now Alexa and the other 3 Alexas around the house still have the opportunity to take over- as I have not unplugged them yet.
And yet I also have not accidentally ordered a case of pocket protectors, either, so I count all of this as a win.
Or to track NFL players during the game.
Amazon’s new home assistant has reignited what has been a slightly-dormant passion for technology, something I had written about many years ago, before I decided you might think that my running adventures around town were more interesting.
“Think back to the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. The technology we have access to today is far beyond anything we could have dreamed of. It’s here. It’s affordable. The future is now! The days of flipping light switches, looking for remote batteries and manually operating shades and window coverings are over.”
Let’s take this month to talk a tiny bit of tech.
Here is what I realized:
- Home technology has gotten much less expensive in the past 3 years.
It’s also gotten much easier to install.
- There are some amazing new gadgets that will help your apartment feel new, cool, and fun.
- I’ve nearly run out of new places to run in the city, so this will be fun and fresh, anyway…
- We use our phones for everything, and so the phone gives us the way to “future proof” our home technology as well.
You definitely pick up your phone as soon as you wake up, don’t you (75% of us do)?
I’m sure that you want to use your phone for home tech, too.
There are systems that probably seem daunting to you.
Control4, Savant, high-priced systems that require someone to monitor them in case they collapse.
Doug mentions this level of system, saying that this “approach is integrating these devices into one easy to use platform. Having the ability to press a button that turns the TV on, dims the lights, closes the shades, sets the volume… that’s where the professionals come in. Through dealer installed automation systems like Control 4, Savant, Crestron, etc.. you can customize your home to your preference, all while staying within budget. No need to shuffle through 5 different apps to control each device. One app. Many Devices. Endless Control.”For now, though, let’s focus on the other approach, which he calls the DIY tech savvy.”
I would argue that one doesn’t even have to be that savvy.
Actually, now there are some systems which seem to run incredibly well and that are intuitive to set up.
He notes the ease and downside if there is one: “There are plenty apps and devices available that can be installed in minutes and controlled via iphone, android or tablet…as long as you don’t mind constantly switching between each app.”
Let’s take some examples:
Take floor lamps.
Alexa talks to all of the wireless light switches that you can plug in between them.
Say you’re sitting on the couch and simply cannot get up to turn off the lamp.
“Alexa, turn off floor lamp.”
There is an incredible Lutron system (the lighting people) called Caseta that costs $50 per light switch, and which you can install yourself like a normal light switch, and control from your phone, anywhere you are.
The app is intuitive, clean, amazing.
Check this interview out about how it will soon allow Alexa to control your wireless Sonos in the house.
At that point, we will have entered the imagination of 80’s and 90’s movies like Total Recall, Blade Runner, and so on.
The a/v guys that I use tell me they don’t hear complaints anymore.
Or from your phone.
Or turn on the lights before you get home.
Or pretend like you’re home for burglars.
Remember when your mom or dad set up those automatic on/off things in your house for vacation?
Did that fool anyone?
If you want to do some tiny stuff around the house to make your life a little more tech-friendly, and don’t want to install it- let me know.
I have great a/v guys who get discounts on this already-discounted stuff.
Otherwise, install away and then have fun bossing someone around!