Tech

Everything You Need to Know About the Smart Home: Ecosystems, Tips, and More

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These logos ensure a basic level of support. It means you can connect to the respective ecosystem and control the gadget with your voice. That said, support for an ecosystem does not mean the same thing for every product. One suction robot can only start and stop voice command support, while another can be told to clean a specific room or work for a certain amount of time. Always check the complete list of commands or user reviews to get a complete picture of what is possible.

You’ll also find third-party smart home devices with integrated voice assistants. There is a separate “Alexa integrated” logo which means you can talk directly to Alexa through the device. The Google equivalent is just a “Google Assistant” logo. The Sonos Beam soundbar is an example of a device that has Google Assistant and Alexa in it, so you can talk directly to it like a Nest or Echo speaker. Siri is only available on devices made by Apple, but is coming soon on third-party devices.

Understands Smart-Home Standards

The lack of common standards has hampered the smart home scene for years. Things are starting to change, but it’s still confusing. Several wireless standards connect your smart home devices behind the scenes. The two most popular examples are ZigBee (used by Philips Hue, Logitech, LG and Samsung) and Z-Wave (used by Honeywell, GE, and even Samsung).

The thread is a newer standard (used by Apple, Google and Nanoleaf) that creates a mesh network without the need for a hub. Then there is Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE (low power). This is not even an exhaustive list, since there are many other rules out there.

For the most part, these behind-the-scenes technologies don’t matter, since you can use a mixture of them in your home. It is up to device manufacturers to choose which of the three main ecosystems they want to support (if not all), regardless of the underlying technology.

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But that’s where the Matter comes from. It is a relatively new standard of wireless interoperability. The goal is to make all smart-home devices work safely, reliably and perfectly. More than 170 companies are on board, including Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and the ZigBee Alliance. Details on the workings of Matter are still emerging, but they should act as an intermediary that traverses norms and ecosystems to allow everything to play well together. With Materia, a smart Google Nest Hub display could show video feed from a Ring bell, for example. (Avà no play nice.)

While most new devices will probably support Matter, many older devices will also be upgraded to support the new standard. In smart lighting, both Philips Hue and Nanoleaf have confirmed that current and future devices support the standard. Google also says that Matter support comes on Nest devices and Android phones, to make the installation of any Matter device a breeze through the Google Home app.

Smart-Home Device Configuration

Large smart home brands offer easy compatibility with major ecosystems. Philips Hue bulbs, for example, can be purchased directly from the Google Home or Apple Home apps. Unfortunately, this is not common. Most devices will require you to use a third-party app for the initial setup to a minimum, and perhaps also for setup and control.

The installation guide that comes with all smart-home devices will generally guide you to download the companion app as a first step. You may have to scan a QR code or enter a serial number, so be sure to go through this process before mounting anything in place or launching anything, since these codes often appear on the bottom or bottom of devices or notebooks. instructions.

Connecting to your chosen ecosystem can be a part of the installation process, but this is still not always the case. You may have to dig into your Apple Home or Google Home settings to manually link your account. With Alexa, you will probably need to install the relevant skill.


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