I came home from a week in Japan to find out apartment had entered the “World of Tomorrow!”. Well, not really. But now we are officially a ‘connected home’.
Frank put his new-found expertise in internet-of-things to good use and connected a series of lights, fans and Alexa (Amazon Echo) across the apartment. So now, using only the power of my voice, I can say “Alexa, turn off the fan”.
Thus saving me the massive chore of getting out of bed, taking two steps and turning off the fan manually.
Like an animal.
I can also use voice commands to turn on and off lights across the apartment (though I still need to remember what they’re all called).
It’s all connected courtesy of technology from Hive. Really simple to use, including the iOS app that lets me see what lights are on at home when I’m not there, as well as turn them off. Same applies to the fans. I can also see if the patio door has been left opened – sadly Alexa lacks the oomph to close it for me.
This is definitely handy for someone as absent-minded as me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt a cold dread seep down my spine on the tube, as I remembered leaving home without turning off the lights.
When at home, I can use the app to adjust the brightness of the lamps, which is a very nice feature. We’re going to install some more of these bulbs this weekend. All white and cream though – I’m not one for coloured lights at home.
Right now, we have an Echo Dot in both the bedroom and the living room. But having seen a full-sized Echo in operation in my parents’ place a few weeks ago, I’m determined to upgrade as soon as possible. At least in our loving room. The sound from the dot is okay, but the original Echo is a lot better.
We can’t connect to a thermostat or a front door lock (the latter seems a bit of a stretch, to me at least) but now I’m interested to see how we can put Alexa to work doing something else. Apart, that is, from turning off the bedroom fan.
I’m so over manual fan adjustment.