Blog – DeusexMachina

Blog

Before jumping on the smart home bandwagon, you might wonder if spending a few thousand dollars for multiple smart devices is necessary. The short answer is no… but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it.

 

You don’t need any smart devices at all. You need shelter, clean water, food, and community. That said, I bet you have a smartphone anyway. You have one because it improves your life and makes it more convenient.

 

Smart home solutions do the same thing. As access to technology improves, our standard of life does too. It’s a new era and although creating a smart home could look like frivolous spending right now, in 10 years, it’s going to be the center of our lives. So the question is, would you like to jump aboard the smart home train now and join the digital natives, or remain a digital immigrant in IoT (Internet of Things)?

 

 

If the perpetual advance of technology doesn’t convince you, maybe money will. A well-configured smart home is eco-friendly and decreases your utility bills. Consider thermostats; smart thermostats. Smart thermostat moguls, Nest and ecobee have savings reports indicating that “on average, the Nest thermostat saved 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling… savings of $131-145 a year” and “ecobee customers in the US saved an average of 23% on their heating and cooling costs.” These devices pay for themselves in just a couple years.

 

Smart thermostats are just one way to save energy. Other effective tools are smart lightbulbs and outlets. If you install a Philips Hue ecosystem instead of your regular lighting, you are going to use “80% less power than a traditional bulb” per bulb. Smart wall outlets like iDevices can be controlled remotely or set up with time limits so you can stop inactive usage or specific devices from using excessive energy. Devices like speakers, stereos, computer screens, coffee makers, kettles, and basically any device that has a light on when plugged in can all be controlled using smart outlets. Obviously the savings with these devices won’t rival those of Nest and ecobee, but if you’re the kind of person who worries whether you’ve off your oven and iron once you’ve left the house, the ability to control energy usage remotely is comforting.

 

Still not convinced? There are also monetary incentives provided by government organizations including rebate programs for using smart alternatives. Check your smart device’s rebate page to find out how much. It can be an easy $100. Check it out.

 

 

As a final thought, it’s important to remember that these items are not “smart” in the way that we would describe a person. They allow us to live smarter, but only if we engage with them properly. Just like a smart phone, smart home devices are not going to make your life smart until you engage with them. Most people don’t know how to use a large portion of their smart device’s potential. Like our brains. That’s why we’re here. We can help you set up a smart home so you will see lower bills, less energy used, and higher convenience. Who knows, maybe you’ll even start looking for more home solutions. It’s addictive!

 

For more information reach us for free consultation and site visit.

 

Selcuk Karaoglan – Founder of Deus ex Machina

Smart home solutions are the biggest trend in the tech industry right now and there are hundreds of products on the market. With new smart thermostats, locks, lightbulbs and other devices being released every day, how do you choose which are right for you?

 

The first thing you need to check is smart home protocols. There are several different protocols on the market. UPB, Insteon, Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wifi, Bluetooth and Thread are some of them and each one has its own ecosystem. Long story short, certain devices use certain protocols and if they don’t match, your smart home communication will be complicated. You can use hubs to remedy miscommunications but it will cost you money and convenience.

 

If you choose items from the same ecosystem, they will communicate with all of your compatible smart devices at the same time. This is the ultimate goal of a smart home. It is the internet of things.

 

If you choose items from the same ecosystem, they will communicate with all of your compatible smart devices at the same time.

 

An effective smart home uses the internet of things to loop your devices so they can talk to each other. And your phone is the most important link in that loop. It allows you to use a single command to make a “scene,” as Apple calls it. That means that when I tell Siri that I’m going out, she communicates with Apple HomeKit to manage all my smart home devices at once. The thermostat will go to 72, my doors will lock, the blinds will close, and the lights will turn off. And when I tell Siri I’m home, the lights turn on to a brightness I’ve already selected, the temperature is the way I like it, etc. Siri handles all of my demands at once making smart device management simple.

 

Apple HomeKit is not a protocol but it allows developers and manufacturers to add their devices to the Apple ecosystem and communicate via Apple Homekit. One of the best parts of HomeKit, is that your data will be safe because Apple does not sell client data to 3rd party companies. For some people that’s not a big issue, but I’d like to keep my home data private.

So how does this effect your smart device selection? Let’s take Nest as an example. Nest is a great product that I would love to have, but I am an Apple user and unfortunately Nest doesn’t work with HomeKit. It uses Thread protocol by Google and Samsung. That means that if I were to use it, I would have to install the Nest app on my iPhone and open it independently every time I wanted to use it. This cumbersome process undermines the purpose of a smart home. So despite being a great product, Nest is not right for me, at least for now.

 

…despite being a great product, Nest is not right for me…

 

That doesn’t mean that you need to replace Nest if you already have it or are thinking about getting it, but it does mean that you need to find items that are compatible so you can create your own “scenes”.

 

All of this can be a little bit complicated, but the end result (living in a smart home) is well worth it. Luckily, it you’re interested in learning more, here is a simple list to get you started. Let us know what you think!

 

First, determine what kind of protocol your smart devices are using

 

Second, read my post about device compatibility to discover which will work with your smartphones.

 

Third, call Deus ex Machina for recommendations, support with installation, and training on your new devices.