Not only will setting up a smart home make your life more convenient but, it will also boost your home security, something which South Africans simply can’t say no to. If you don’t know what a smart home is, it’s time you catch up with modern tech and give your home and life an upgrade! We’re going to teach you what smart devices are, how they work and how to get your own smart home going.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is simply an ecosystem of smart devices which you connect to your smart phone either via Bluetooth or WiFi. You can also connect smart devices to something called a hub which is essentially a way to connect all your devices to the internet and communicate with them remotely. If you’re using an Android, you’ll likely use Google Home to control your various smart devices. You can also use Google’s assistant to control devices with your voice.
For those that use iOS, you will use Apple’s HomeKit app to control your smart devices and Siri for voice control. Two slightly less popular options in South Africa are Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. Alexa is a great option but Cortana is not very popular at the moment, primarily due to the lack of compatible devices available on the market.
What are smart devices?
Smart devices are a range of appliances and electronic devices that are either WiFi or Bluetooth enabled. This allows these devices to speak to and be spoken to via a smart hub or a smart phone. As the demand for smart devices increases in South Africa, a greater range of products which are smart have become available, below we’ll have a look at ten great smart devices.
Top 10 smart devices every South African should try
- Smart TV’s; Connect your smart TV to your favourite personal assistant and control it from anywhere. You can also search for a movie or series without touching a remote.
- Smart cameras; Smart cameras are perhaps one of the most important smart devices for South Africans since they can buy and set-up their own security cameras affordably. In addition, to DIY setup, smart cameras can be monitored from any smart phone or devices from anywhere in the world.
- Smart speakers; Bluetooth or WiFi enabled speakers are nothing new but you can now connect your speakers to your hub or smart phone and play music, podcasts and other audio from anywhere.
- Smart light bulbs; switch your lights on and off, adjust the brightness, pick from up to 16 million colour variations and replace light timers and day/night switches by setting a schedule to make it look like someone’s always home. Smart bulbs are among the simplest and most affordable ways to start your SMART home.
- Smart plugs; connect your smart plug into any socket and enjoy being able to remotely switch the connected electronics on and off. This can be a radio, a heater, fan or aircon unit or a lamp, the options are endless.
- Smart motion sensors; Perhaps one of the most affordable ways to improve your home security is by setting up some motion sensors. You can connect your motion sensors to your phone and you’ll be alerted if any of them are triggered.
- Smart door locks; Imagine being able o unlock your front door with your smart phone voice assistant? Now you can with a smart door lock. Not only is it really cool but you can monitor the status of your lock and home from anywhere with your smart phone.
- Smart door and window sensors; Don’t have money to invest in an elaborate home security system? A smart door or window sensor is the answer! This device will connect to your home hub and smart phone and alert your if there’s a breach.
- Smart alarm systems; you can either call a security company to set up your smart home alarm system or you can purchase a DIY kit and set it up yourself. Smart alarm systems may include sensors, beams and cameras and you can monitor and access your devices from your smart homes.
- Smart vacuums; also called floor cleaning robots or vacuum robots, smart vacuums can automatically clean your floors as and when you want it to. It will connect to your phone or hub and allow you to remotely control its functions. You can set up daily and weekly schedules for the vacuum and check its status from your mobile.
Whether you want to keep your family and home safe or just have a little bit of fun, these smart devices will help you do it. If you’re not ready to set up an elaborate smart home ecosystem, try one or two of the above products. Who knows, you may just fall in love with smart tech and end up setting up a smart home to rival even the most tech savvy among us!