This COVID-19 virus has many of us working from home or spending more time at home than we like to. I recently discovered the entertainment value in home automation.
We are all familiar with Captain Kirk asking the computer to solve a problem for him.
It is now possible for any of us to have this feature and much more in our home.
You do not need to be a computer wizard. If you are capable of downloading an application to your phone you will have the ability to automate your home with a few simple steps.
Google, Amazon, and Apple have developed voice command hardware capable of delivering voice response to a request, however, some are better than others. I spent some time reviewing the capabilities of each platform and all are very capable, however, the Google home products seem to win every test I see performed by the YouTube testers. If you are already committed to one of these platforms they should serve the purpose for you.
I found a Google Home Mini on sale for $40.00 and had it set up and running in minutes. I was so impressed. I plugged it in then downloaded the free app to my phone and it stepped me through the very easy setup. I was soon asking it about the weather or how long it would take me to drive to a nearby town. You can have it link to your computer music library or ask it to play a free music station. You can even use it for a home intercom system. For example, you could have one in two or three places in the home. Then from any station, you can do a broadcast announcing that dinner is ready.
I took it one step further and for another $30.00 I ordered a three-pack of Bluetooth plug-ins. Now I can control lights or appliances in the home with a voice command. The setup was easy with the phone application.
The other day we were traveling and were not able to get home before dark. My wife was concerned about the house not having any lights on for the dog. I opened the application on my phone and told it to turn on the living room lights for the dog. When we got home the lights were on.
This small investment has turned out to be a valuable source of entertainment for the family and just might help you get through the next few months.