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Connected smart home standards are maturing
DIY Home automation enthusiasts used to be a small group who needed technical expertise to experiment with connected home gadgets. Now a whole new set of products are available from major companies to create the connected smart home of the future – these have become easier to install and use in everyday life. There is still much confusion though. Competing network communication and wireless standards means you often can’t combine products from different vendors.
The Internet of Things traditionally operated on special protocols like Z-Wave and Zigbee, but these standards look as though they may be losing ground. This is because most homes are now equipped with a Wi-Fi home network, making it much easier to add connected devices to create a connected smart home.
Smart Home Systems and Hubs
Now, thanks to Apple HomeKit and other solutions from companies such as Samsung and Insteon, consumers will only need a reasonably priced hub connected to a smartphone or tablet to add voice controls. These will seamlessly control light bulbs, garage door openers, thermostats and more …
Google, Amazon, Apple have already established themselves in the smart speaker industry – each with its own distinct ecosystem that all work with and without hubs. Other manufacturers such as Philips and TP-Link with their range of light bulbs and other products, can be also used across the different smart speaker systems.
Using just your smart phone
Some manufacturers, TP-Link among them have developed products with matching iPhone and Andriod smart phone apps. These devices can be controlled just from your smart phone if you wish. The light can be turned on and off, dimmed, a schedule set for on and off, and lights can be grouped together to set moods in one tap. Important to note that from a smart phone or tablet you can control your devices from literally anywhere.
These manufacturers smart phone apps can also be linked to the Alexa smart phone app allowing voice control from an Amazon Echo Smart Speaker – either the original Echo, a Dot, Tap or the Show.
Best IOT devices and systems for the connected smart home
The best choice of devices for you will depend on your budget, your technical expertise and your choice of system. We’ll do our best to guide you to creating your own connected smart home along the way …