Tech upgrade: Easy ways to smarten up your home
India has been late to the party, but smart home automation is finally a reality in the country. The impetus to the growing adoption was provided by the launch of Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers which essentially act as a hub for a smart home.
“Alexa, turn on the light.”
Philips Hue offers the definitive smart lighting experience. There are LED bulbs, light strips, and other lamps that you can control remotely and change colours or brightness via the app or your preferred voice assistant – Alexa or Google Assistant.
However, Philips Hue setup needs a Hue Bridge, a central hub that connects to all your Hue devices, making the price barrier quite high to get started.
That’s where Yeelight and Syska SmartLight products help. Just plug them, and you’re good. Even Xiaomi now offers a Mi LED Smart Bulb in India.
“Okay Google, turn off the TV.”
Many home appliances launched in India in the last few months come with support for Alexa or Google Assistant – air conditioners by Voltas, the Mi Air Purifier by Xiaomi, several smart TVs like the LG AI ThinQ televisions.
But of course, you’d only buy these if you’re in the market for that appliance. An easier way to get started with a smart home setup is by using Wi-Fi-enabled smart switches and plugs from companies like D-Link or Oakter. Just plug in your electronics to these and turn them on or off via voice assistants or connected apps.
So, yes, you can turn on your room’s AC before you reach home so it’s already cool for you. Or setup your water geyser to turn on every morning so you have hot water ready when you go for bath.
There are also options like Picostone or Sonoff which although require electrical fitting once, can make your existing switchboards controllable by app and voice assistant. Turning on the fan is, well, quite breezy with these.
If you stay with elders or children or have random people dropping in at your home all the time, get yourself the Mi Home Security Cameras that allows you to monitor and control the live camera feed even when you are out and about.
If you want to step up your gadget quotient, invest in the Kaiterra LaserEgg, a smart air quality monitor that tells you about pollution levels around you.