How Smart Should Your Home Be?

Amazon’s wide release of their smart appliances brought the smart home to the mainstream. More than that, they introduced products that weren’t in the smart home ecosystem before, primarily the Alexa microwave, clock, and amp. If there was a landmark moment when Internet of Things (IoT) really went public, it’s probably the day when Amazon held their press event for the new additions to their Home line.

By the time the released the much talked-about event, many have already made the transition to an inter-connected home. An internet-connected home, if you will. There are televisions, refrigerators, speakers, apps, and all sorts of appliances that you can connect to each other. The premise is to eliminating the activation cycle for all appliances, and coordinate them even. Either you can save on electricity, or make sure everything is prepared by the time you get home.

This is all good and well, but nobody’s asked how much smart appliances you should be adapting, especially with the mounting security concerns. It may lessen your dependence on Internet connectivity to accomplish things around the house, and save you a few hundred dollars. Finding that balance is a key factor in making smart appliances an integral part of your home.

 

Living Room

living roomIn terms of being integration-friendly, your living room can adapt more smart appliances than any area in your house. From speakers to televisions to streaming devices to light bulbs, you can revamp your entire living room to be fully connected. But should you?

Smart televisions are all the rage these days, but very few of these TVs have a user-friendly interface. LG TVs are the top choice in this department, but they reserve their best ones for their top-tier options that cost $1,000 at the least. The others will frustrate you because their interface laggy or just not good at all. But you don’t entirely lose if you’re one of the early adapters of 4K and HDR, as these smart TVs only have one useful feature, which is their streaming capability. Streaming devices are so cheap that you can turn your regular TV into a smart TV in a day. You have options too, with Amazon, Roku, and Google your main choices. Any way you go, you won’t have to spend anything more than $50 to watch your videos on TVs.

Your speakers, it’s possible to go either ways. Whether you get a fairly traditional tabletop speaker or a smart speaker, you only need the Bluetooth connection so you can hook it up with your phone, television, or laptop. Smart or not, your speaker only has one job, and that it to sound great. On this point, it’s more important for you to choose a great-sounding speaker than one with features, more than half of which you’ll end up not using.

As for light bulbs and living room peripherals, they’re usually a hit-or-miss. The reason is that these smart products are only good for giving you more control through your smartphone. If you think it’s useful, then there’s no reason to not adapt. If you have to think twice, it’s best to pass on that product for now.

Kitchen

kitchenKitchens are tricky to turn. Given that everything is bespoke and chosen for a reason, replacing any appliance isn’t simple. You do have choices: smart fridges, smart cookers, Internet-connected coffee makers, and many others. What’s useful, though, that’s the important question.

The thing about smart kitchen appliances is that everything you’re supposed to do in a kitchen, cook, make a drink or throw garbage, they’re best done manually. We got used to doing those things by instinct, not because a computer told us.

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