The smart home
is full of hope: the coffee machine that opens when you wake up, the garage door that opens when you go home, the music and air that is relaxing with remote control
The air conditioner and thermostat can also perfectly adjust the home to save you money.
Commitment, however, is rarely a reality. Smart-
Home automation is now a tricky and confusing area of technology.
Driven by the success of the Nest Learning Thermostat and Google\'s $3, companies have joined the competition.
Acquired Nest 2 billion.
Assembling smart home is still a major task for consumersit-
Your own project.
You can select your components, connect them to your home network and start your connected life.
Companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T offer monitoring systems, but they don\'t offer much flexibility.
It will cost tens of thousands of dollars to install a complete home automation and security system.
The problem is, for anyone pursuing this as D. I. Y.
Project, the more devices you take home, the more independent apps you need to control them.
All of a sudden, convenience becomes very troublesome.
Imagine trying to set up a romantic scene.
You load an app to lower the lights, the second to start playing soft music, and the third to lock the door behind you. And the mood?
It darkened with the lights.
Managing the complexity of several applications is an obvious stimulus and multiple companies are trying to solve the problem by creating a single systema hub —
Used to control a variety of household equipment.
Volv, SmartThings, Icontrol and even hardware retailer Lowe\'s are creative smart home centers.
Apple is also involved.
It recently announced HomeKit, a development environment that will encourage device manufacturers to connect to iOS to control smart home devices.
The idea is that your iOS device will become a control panel for multiple gadgets and you can even make commands using Siri.
For now, however, hubs are the best way to control houses full of connected devices.
In theory, the benefits are double.
First of all, there is only one app on your phone or tablet that controls multiple gadgets.
Second, the hub can not only talk to hardware such as bulbs, speakers, and smart lock
s, but also let these devices talk to each other.
I tested the theory with two more popular centers.
From volv and SmartThings-
It\'s easy to set them up.
They also fulfilled their commitment to connecting a small number of smart devices --
As long as you make things simple.
Connecting different home devices to a system is not as easy as simply plugging them into the Internet in your home.
This is because connected devices communicate using a variety of wireless technologies.
Wireless network, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z
Wave, Insteon, X10, etc. Wi-Fi, Z-
The most popular ones are Wave, Insteon, and ZigBee, as well as volv ($300)
And intelligence ($100)
You can talk to most people, or you can talk soon.
You need to check the new gadgets to make sure they work properly
Annoying extra steps.
But many popular gadgets will be supported.
Both volv and SmartThings devices are easy to set up-
This is especially true of volv.
Unfortunately, the Revolv device looks like a bright red CD spindle box, but you can hide it anywhere in your home. It has built-in Wi-
Fi, so all you have to do is plug it into the power outlet and download the free Revolv app on your iOS phone or tablet. (
Android version is being tested;
You can try it, but the company reminds me that it may not be very good. )
The app directs you to connect the hub to Wi-
Fi networks and applications.
Pairing the phone with the Revolv hub is a bit fun: you put the phone on the hub and the camera of the phone flashes a few times until the sensor on the Hub recognizes it. Easy, indeed.
I ran the Revolv and connected to the Sonos speaker system and three Philips Hue bulbs.
But the app is limited in terms of music control: I can play, pause, skip or repeat tracks, but I can\'t change the source of the music or go through playlists or songs.
The app creates channels based on songs that have been heard recently, but this is different from browsing existing playlists, says Revolv.
Light Control is simpler;
I can turn on or off three lights at the same time, turn them on separately, or change the color of the bulb through my phone.
Revolv also allows you to set up actions based on your location (
Determined by your phone\'s GPS)
, So when you are away from home, it can turn off the lights or turn the lights back on when you arrive.
You can also set the action by time, or have one device control another: motion sensors can turn on the lights, for example. The geo-
The sensing effect is very good.
When I left my house I received a text message and when I got home everything was closed.
I also set up a light to turn the bulb on and on when the Sonos speakers start playing.
Silly as it is, it works.
SmartThings hub is white, about the size of a portable CD player, but not very flexible in placement.
No matter where you set it up, it needs to physically plug in your wireless router, and then it will send its own wireless signal to various connected devices.
This is too bad because systems like Sonos and Hue also have small hubs plugged into the router.
Things around my router have become very confusing.
Like volv, SmartThings hub is set up using the free app you download to your phone (iOS or Android).
Like volv, SmartThings allows you to set specific actions.
You can turn off all the lights with stock moves like \"Good Night\", lock the door and turn off the sound, or \"good morning\" to turn on the TV, coffee maker and kitchen lights.
You can also create custom rules that I like in SmartThings.
Same as Revolv, you can set the location
According to the rules of mobile phone location or external sensor activation sold by the company.
Speaking of which, SmartThings offers a convenient starter kit for your automation home, better than Revolv.
Most kits are based on security and monitoring-
The most common reason why people enter home automation.
I tried \"know and control your family Suite \"($300)
Including the main hub and two sensors, you can judge when the door or cabinet is opened, and you can also sense vibration and temperature;
Two sensors can broadcast their location so you can track the keys, children, or people walking the dog;
Motion sensors and smart power outlets for remotely turning on lights or appliances.
Not all the sensors in the kit found a logical home, but I like the multi-purpose sensor that tells my son the temperature of the room.
I also like to have a \"smart home in the box\" for $300 instead of just a hub with a Revolv.
Overall, I would say SmartThings got my vote on Revolv, mainly for the price and the bundle.
I like the flexibility of both, though, and the relatively low entry price.
Devices in smart homes are changing quickly, so it\'s sometimes better to be cheaper in terms of generic hubs.
By this time next year, everything can be different, easier, and maybe even controlled by Siri.
Whatever brand you choose, you have to know that nothing will work as it should.
Expect random errors and mysterious failures.
However, if you have a little patience, you can play with D. I. Y.
Smart home with hub can be fun and generate great party tricks.
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