These days, having a voice-activated digital assistant in your pocket is pretty much taken for granted. Instead of typing on tiny touchscreens, we've all become accustomed to simply whipping out our phones and saying, "Hey Cortana, call Dad," or "OK Google, dial 911," or "Hey Siri, what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" So it's no surprise, really, that a similar digital assistant, Alexa, has rocketed Amazon's Echo to the top of the electronics sales charts month after month for more than a year now.
So, why has Amazon Echo been such a huge hit? Mostly because Alexa it does it all. She plays music for you. She gives you the news and weather. She manages your shopping lists and calendar appointments. She even tells you jokes, for goodness' sake. And best of all, she can turn your home into a voice-controlled sci-fi dream, giving you the ability to dim your lights, adjust your thermostat, lock your doors, fire up your Keurig, turn up your ceiling fan and more, using nothing more than the sound of your voice.
Actually, strike that. The best thing about Alexa is that she actually works. And she works with more and more smart home devices all the time, some directly, and others via smart home hubs like SmartThings, Wink, and most recently Nexia as well as smart security panels from places like Vivint.
The advantages of adding a compatible hub to your Amazon Echo control system are numerous; it not only vastly expands the number of devices that Alexa can control, but also the types of devices under her command. And having a hub in place also gives your voice commands more power by allowing you to link interoperable Z-Wave devices. Say you have a SmartThings hub, for example, programmed to turn on the porch light if you lock your front door after dark. In that case, you wouldn't need to tell Alexa to do both; simply saying, "Alexa, lock the front door" at night could automatically trigger the programming that also illuminates the exterior of your home.
And that's just one example of way the smart home is evolving to include innovative control methods that make your home more intuitive to control than even the most imaginative science-fiction writers could have ever dreamt of. Scene controllers like the Nexia One Touch, for example, allow you to literally change the look of your entire home at the touch of a single button. And FIBARO’s new gesture controller SWIPE allows you to manipulate the devices in your home by simply waving your hand in the air like some sort of sorcerer.
The only thing that could be easier would be controlling your home with the power of thought alone, and we're not quite there yet. But with Alexa voice control combined with the power of Z-Wave, we're close enough that it still seems like magic.
Z-Wave, Home Control, Smart Home, Amazon Echo, Alexa, voice integration, FIBARO, Nexia, Wink, SmartThings, gesture control, one touch living
Gearing up for school or summer vacation for the kids can be a source of stress for some parents. You may be worried about leaving the kids home alone during the workday – but did you know that a smart home system powered by Z-Wave is just the answer to put your mind at ease?
With renting comes a lot of different considerations – you're generally restricted to what you can install or add to walls, and switching out installed items like a thermostat is usually frowned upon. So how do renters install a Z-Wave smart home with tech that they can bring with them after they move? We have a few solutions.
Back-to-School Bliss - ADT Pulse
Digital Life Virtual Smart Home - AT&T
If you're one of the roughly 50% of homeowners looking to add smart home technology to your home in the coming year, chances are good that you've either put a lot of thought and planning into your purchases, or you're absolutely daunted by the staggering number of options. It isn't always easy to know unless you look for the Z-Wave logo.
By now, you're probably familiar with the basics of what a smart home can do: unlock and lock your doors remotely, control devices like lights and thermostats from your smart app and allow these gadgets to talk to one another and create automated scenes to make life easier and comfortable.
Notifications & Alerts - AT&T Digital Life
IFA 2015 LG - Smart Home
The evenings are getting brighter and the days are warmer. It can only mean one thing - spring is almost here! With spring comes the reminder to turn our clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time. How can a smart home help?
If you're reading this blog, my bet is that you have both an Amazon Echo product – either an Echo or it's smaller sister, the Echo Dot – and some smart home gear you'd like to connect and control via Alexa. We'll go through the setup
This is a connected home experience. This (Amazon Echo) is a product that gives you the smart home experience you didn't know you wanted.
Thankfully, smart home technologies can help with the turning off of lights, as well as other habits that can drive up your energy bills.
When my son was five, I overheard him plotting with the girl next door to sneak out and meet up for a play date—after my husband and I were asleep. That was the day I decided to get a smart home security system.
Fox News KDVR takes a tour of the Z-Wave Experience Home with George from Nexia and discusses how Z-Wave allows for complete synchronization, control, and ease of use in a smart home.
With the help of Z-Wave Automatic Blinds technology, you'll be able to make your home even smarter. The best part is you'll be able to achieve that on a budget!
So if you have a Z-Wave bridging smart hub, and want to monitor water levels in your sump pump, then the Aeotec Sensor is a great option.
Exploring not only how a connected home can add convenience and safety to your life, but how it might add value to your home in the future.
Icontrol Networks Piper Nv - this multifaceted device also controls and interacts with various Z-Wave home automation devices, including smart switches and dimmers, door and window sensors, and range extenders.