Thanks to the Thanksgiving of 2016 , my home is now smart. It all started on a Black Friday and by the next Monday, my home was well connected and very smart.All that remains now is for me to get connected to my home.
Occasionally I run some work meetings from home during early or late hours, where I am demonstrating a product to a large group over a conference call. During one such meeting my wireless in the upper quarters of my home gave up. I ran downstairs, connected to the wireless at the main level and continued. But I was mortified. The 235 people on the meeting empathized. So I decided, the next time, I was going to demo something that would be recorded , I would use a wired connection.
So, the last week I was on one of my morning conference calls and had just finished a demo. There were several people who had questions and I was answering them one by one. Not sure what I said, but something I said ticked Alexa off. I was sitting next to the media cabinet to use a wired connection and Amazon Alexa lived in that media cabinet.
” Sorry! I did not understand what you just said. ” Said Alexa! I had to make a quick choice, should I explain about Alexa to my phone audience or quickly figure out if Alexa has a on/off button or volume low/high button. And what if I switched off Alexa and she actually controlled my network connectivity. I would be lost. Hmm.. I picked the former. It was easier to explain to my meeting group and apologize about Alexa’s interference. Maybe they can imagine I have a pet speaking parrot!! No, not really.. pets know to listen to their owner.
I have a night stand next to my bed. The night stand has a brown reading lamp placed in the middle. The lamp has a metallic chain suspended from it. When I tug at the chain once it turns the light on. And when I pull the chain again, it turns the light off. Very simple!
But now the lamp has moved quarters to associate with smarter things. We now have a smart switch at the corner of the room and the lamp stands at this corner and is connected to this smart switch. My smart phone has a smart app to control the smart light. When I want to turn on the light, I punch in the passcode on my phone, search for the smart app , then search for the smart switch and then turn it ON. Easy enough! So when I want to turn it off, do I just press OFF on the phone? Maybe, but not always. Every few days, the smart app wants to update its firmware. So I usually let it do its thing while I walk over to the far corner, gently tug at the chain and turn the light off. Then walk carefully in the dark back to the bed without tripping over any random clutter on the floor.
My phone also controls a smart garage but I manually check my garage doors everyday at night. I don’t want to walk downstairs at night , in the middle of a firmware update.
My Google Home reads the news, tells the weather, rings the morning alarm and sings Katy Perry songs except the Dark Horse. Google Home does not like Dark Horse.
I can talk to Google Home and make it teach me French or pay $149 for French lessons at Harper College. Guess which one I picked??
I was working from home the other day and my TV turned on by itself. I wondered maybe it was a good idea to drive to work. It might feel safer there. Then my husband called to say he is testing the TV app from his phone!!
We replaced our old thermostat with a smart one. My son stood in front of it and loudly instructed ” Set Temperature to 65″ . No answer! He looked at me with a question mark?
Well , maybe some smart things don’t like to talk much!!!