If you perhaps ask yourself how to make my home smarter and easier to manage, or how to connect Google assistant with the bunch of smart devices you’ve got, here we guide you through few steps you will need to accomplish to surround yourself in the comfort of your intelligent home.
What Is a SMART Home?
Aren’t all homes smart? Perhaps, homes are getting more and more interconnected with different kind of technologies and tools that will help you get information and perhaps save a few dollars a year.
Even, if you do not have many smart gadgets ready to start their duties with a touch of a button or a voice command, you can give yourself a pat on the shoulder since your home can be defined as smart. Even if you only have a thermostat that saves you some energy via a programmed schedule or a few Philips Hue bulbs that change their colors from an ambient light to neon pink in seconds.
Though, if you still don’t know where to start and what appliances to buy for your kitchen or living room, here you may find some useful ideas. Read it before investing your money in devices that may turn out to be incompatible with your home ecosystem at a later stage.
What Is an Integration System?
The integration system is the ecosystem of your home. You can imagine it as a network of pieces interconnected through wires, sensors, microcomputers or Bluetooth to a main panel, namely controller. It is only the hardware part of the equation.
A controller can be the switch-on/off for the lightening, but in the case of the smart home it is often an application on your phone or tablet that can command different devices in your environment. Google Assistant or Alexa are also type of programmes that can control different devices via a voice command.
There comes the role of the scripts and codes or the software. So each integration system is built through hardware and software components that interact with each other. You can also interpret it as the software being the brain of the system, while the hardware is the body.
So, while we use the smart home to identify various aspects of our home that may be automated, the integration system is the glue between the independent devices in your home that makes the connection and gives the beginning of the entire orchestra of lights, TV and sound devices, home cameras, door locks, heating equipment and more.
How to Choose Your Integration System?
If you are beginner, you may rely more on what’s already available to you. So, we get this question very commonly “How to connect Google Home with … Sonos, Raspberry Pi, iPhone or Android, Samsung SmartThings..” and ect. The opportunities are endless and it may be confusing which direction to take.
All those mentioned like Google Home, SmartThings, Alexa are a very good choice if you are just beginning to build your smart home. Moreover, you have some available cash, you can get the Crestron home automation app together with their automation solution for homes. Or contact the Home Automation Pros.
But even if you are on a budget, you can still build an automation home with Alexa, for instance. Or whatever is the software and device that you feel most comfortable with and you are most familiar with. Perhaps, one advantage of the Samsung SmartThings is that you can customize the commands on your tablet or mobile with the ActionTile dashboard maker. Yet, you will need to use another programme for voice commands.
How to Install a Home Assistant?
Home Assistant is a great free platform that allows all products from various manufacturers and their protocol to be integrated with DIY home automation projects and home solutions. Although, the platform is very robust and dependable, it is still a good solution if you would like to use it.
You can install Home Assistant on a designated Raspberry Pi or a computer in your home.
To install it on a Raspberry Pi, you will need a 32GB micro SD card, an adapter to connect to the computer, a second PC and the Raspberry Pi. You need to download the file corresponding to your Raspberry Pi and some additional software. You can see a step-by-step explanation in the video below whether you wish to use Raspberry Pi or your computer.
How to Connect Google Home with Your Devices?
Often times people ask questions such as how to connect Google Home with Sonos speakers, Amazon’s Ring doorbell solution, SmartThings hub, Samsung TV and ect.
Sometimes when having difficulties to connect a certain device, as mentioned in this thread, it is due to the device not being compatible with the Google Home app or Alexa or whatever system you use. The issue gets even more complicated when you consider that Google and Amazon are competitors.
Thus, some devices developed by Amazon may not be compatible with Google. And sometimes the producer is to blame when the device is not compatible with Google, nor Alexa. Though, they should clearly state it in the product description.
The easiest thing to do is to stick with one brand and their smart hub. Or perhaps, it is too early in the industry, and companies are fighting for shares on the market. As a result, the buyers need to invest more and more cash into incompatible devices or stick with the products of one main brand.