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
A smart home can help ease your worries and provide you the peace of mind you need to keep yourself on track with the rest of your day. Here are a few problems that keeping your home connected can solve.
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.
Linear - Z-Wave Wall Mount Dimmer Switch
Jasco Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Switch
The Apple Watch is already great at a lot of things. It's perfect for keeping tabs on your personal fitness goals, for quickly checking (and even replying to) text messages and phone calls, for glancing at the weather forecast, and even for paying for purchases with Apple Pay. But what about controlling your home?
If you're planning on putting your home on the market anytime soon, it's probably a good idea to smarten it up a bit before your realtor starts showing it.
ADT Makes Your Smart Home a Safe Home
Remote Home Security - ADT Pulse
Chances are the dad in your life has had his share of standard, run of the mill Father’s Day presents like ties, power tools and shaving kits. A poll from Ebates found that electronics are the most wished-for purchase by fathers
Looking to save money? Before you think about cutting back on dinners out or skimping on your next family vacation, you may want to look right inside your own home to discover where you may be wasting resources—and consequently, money. For instance, electricity powers dozens of machines in our homes
Yale Real Living Assure Locks – "Unlike other models, the products feature Z-Wave and ZigBee connectivity, not Bluetooth or Wi-Fi."
Here are 7 things homeowners should consider as they prepare for seasonal adjustments to optimize home performance.
The new motorized deadbolts utilize the Z-Wave wireless protocol to enable true remote locking and unlocking. This allows homeowners to remotely access and control the lock from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or Internet connected device.
Z-Wave powered smart home gear can make it easier for homeowners to prepare for frigid temps and monitor their property to mitigate any potential damage that could occur.
It is good to realize that a smart home is not just mere product of a person whims and caprices. Like your smart phones and watches, a smart home may also serve you beyond convenience. And here below are some of the benefits of turning your home into a smart home.
Home automation itself is the process of setting up your home appliances, entertainment, surveillance, and more so that you can control these with functions and features on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. A smart home is a home that has installed products that can be controlled with home automation.
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.
A defining feature of the new technology is the way Z-Wave devices actually communicate better with one another as more devices are added to the network.