Author Topic: Smart stuff for the home  (Read 473 times)

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Offline Billzbub

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Smart stuff for the home
« on: November 23, 2017, 05:31:50 PM »
I'm considering getting a Google Home for the family for Xmas.  What do I need to know?  Do I need a Samsung Smartthings or whatever it is called just to use smart lights and a smart thermostat?  I don't even know what questions to ask, really.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2017, 07:13:16 PM »
I think what you need to know is: What do you want to accomplish with the Google Home? Is it just a gadget for the sake of having a gadget? If so, I'd recommend not getting it. If you have a definite use in mind, then you need to know what other gadgets you might need to make it work, which you should be able to find by googling Google Home. Wikipedia might have an article describing what it is and what's needed to operate it.

I'm biased against all these "home assistant" devices. That may be just me being a bit of a Luddite, though I do love gadgets. (I didn't get a smartphone until I had a specific application for it, that being to replace my very old and heavy Garmin Nuvi with its out-of-date maps with always-up-to-date Google Maps on an easily-portable device. The phone has been a success in this regard, and a few other apps have been very useful as well.)
Daniel
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 07:36:40 PM »
Smart thermostats baffle me. Do they save energy? My home is small, we have a round thermostat you twist left or right when you get home, wake up, go to work, etc. If I had a McMansion then a smart thermostat might be useful for managing all that real estate, but then I wouldn't be frugal with energy by virtue of living with too much space. If you have a smart thermostat and value it, tell me why.

Offline Desert Fox

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 06:25:57 AM »
My roommate bought a large crock pot. You can access it through a smart phone although he did not get it for that. Still, why? 
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Offline Rai

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 06:43:20 AM »
Call me paranoid, but I prefer not to have a listening device installed in my home, providing direct and un-controllable access for the benefit of any number intelligence and law enforcement agencies or corporations.

Also I prefer not to have my fridge or tea kettle drafted into a bot army.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 09:27:28 AM »
Smart thermostats baffle me. Do they save energy? My home is small, we have a round thermostat you twist left or right when you get home, wake up, go to work, etc. If I had a McMansion then a smart thermostat might be useful for managing all that real estate, but then I wouldn't be frugal with energy by virtue of living with too much space. If you have a smart thermostat and value it, tell me why.

I think the idea is that you can program them to make the house cooler at night when you are sleeping and don't need the heat. This saves you the bother of changing it manually. If it's connected to the internet, then when you go on vacation and your husband or wife asks "Did you remember to turn down the thermostat?" you could do it from afar.

(I just include "turn down thermostat" on my vacation to-do list.)

Now, if you have a connected smart coffeepot then it can check and make sure you are buying "certified" coffee pods for it from the original manufacturer, and "protect" you from using less expensive ones by refusing to operate. The same goes for a connected smart printer: It will "protect" you from using less-expensive cartridges.

Those smart speakers that Rai is so concerned about can be quite useful. Let's say you get into an argument with your significant other over whether you did or did not ask him/her to bring home a quart of milk, all you have to do is file a Freedom of Information request to the FBI or the NSA and ask for a transcript of the recording, and, voila, argument settled.

So many uses.  ::)
Daniel
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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 09:34:52 AM »
Smart thermostats baffle me. Do they save energy? My home is small, we have a round thermostat you twist left or right when you get home, wake up, go to work, etc. If I had a McMansion then a smart thermostat might be useful for managing all that real estate, but then I wouldn't be frugal with energy by virtue of living with too much space. If you have a smart thermostat and value it, tell me why.

I have a Google Nest set up because I am away much of the time. Between a couple of cameras and thermostat I can control, it is a security blanket thing. If I still owned a house, I would add a moisture monitor for the basement, and maybe smoke detectors.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 10:10:09 AM »
Smart thermostats like the Nest are different from programmable thermostats in that they 1) can sense the presence or absence of people and adjust temperatures accordingly and 2) learn from your manual settings to anticipate your temperature needs.  Thus they may be able to have finer control than could be accomplished with simple daily timers.  As far as internet connectivity, That strikes me as a novelty.
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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 10:19:09 AM »
Smart thermostats like the Nest are different from programmable thermostats in that they 1) can sense the presence or absence of people and adjust temperatures accordingly and 2) learn from your manual settings to anticipate your temperature needs.  Thus they may be able to have finer control than could be accomplished with simple daily timers.  As far as internet connectivity, That strikes me as a novelty.

I never did get the Nest to figure out my comings and goings. Unless you are a very regular-schedule family, I found this feature overblown. The internet access, however, let me drop the temp quite low in cold weather and still get the house toasty warm in time to arrive. The utility bills in my small town were punishing, and I saved a lot with the Nest in my former house (and of course, it keeps a nice record of energy use).
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 10:24:57 AM »
We're all so different. I would prefer my house stay cold until I get home. I've got my winter coat on, I don't want a preheated house. What made me get rid of the programmable thermostat was its inability to know which days I would sleep in a bit later. Self-employed, I have no rigid schedule. I hated the furnace telling me to get out of bed.

Offline moj

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2017, 10:36:43 AM »
We have been talking about setting something up for awhile but haven't yet. We do have the amazon tap and a dot that is mostly just to stream music. I know it can do more just hard to get in the habit of remembering to ask it things. We want a smart thermostat and one of the camera/door bell's see from phone apps thingamahjigger but don't have any intimidate plans to get one.

Offline Billzbub

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 01:09:15 PM »
We're all so different. I would prefer my house stay cold until I get home. I've got my winter coat on, I don't want a preheated house. What made me get rid of the programmable thermostat was its inability to know which days I would sleep in a bit later. Self-employed, I have no rigid schedule. I hated the furnace telling me to get out of bed.

This is one of the reasons I want the Google Home.  I want to be able to say "Hey Google, make it 2 degrees warmer" from bed.

I also want to be able to turn the lights off in my bedroom (and eventually the whole house, but who can afford that) by asking Google to turn all the lights off.  This would come in handy when I am leaving or when I get all comfy in bed and realize I forgot to turn off the kitchen lights and they are shining into my room from down the hall.

Lastly, I want it as an information depot where I can ask it when a store closes, how long it will take to get somewhere that I need to go, what movies are playing, etc.  Sure, I can use my phone to do all of this, but sometimes my hands are full and my phone won't respond to "Hey Google" unless I swipe off the screen saver first.

I also think that I may learn new ways to use it in the future that are useful to me, but that I haven't thought of yet.

Let's say you get into an argument with your significant other over whether you did or did not ask him/her to bring home a quart of milk, all you have to do is file a Freedom of Information request to the FBI or the NSA and ask for a transcript of the recording, and, voila, argument settled.

OMG I want this so bad.  If it would just keep the last 24 hours of recording for our instant perusal, then me, my wife, and my kids could settle 90% of our arguments which are invariable about what someone said earlier EXACTLY.  "No, I said we were in the old house when you first saw Castaway, not that you were 5 years old when you first saw it."

I think what you need to know is: What do you want to accomplish with the Google Home? Is it just a gadget for the sake of having a gadget?

Yes.  We always get a Christmas gift for the "family", and I'm buying this $80 gadget so that I don't have to buy something more expensive like an Xbox One X.  I decided to just by 4 lights with it without the connectable thermostat.  Light bulbs that can be controlled by the Google Home are pretty dang expensive.  I suggest every year that we don't give in to the corporate Christmas hysteria, but I am shot down every year.
Quote from: Steven Novella
gleefully altering one’s beliefs to accommodate new information should be a badge of honor

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 04:51:52 PM »
Call me paranoid, but I prefer not to have a listening device installed in my home, providing direct and un-controllable access for the benefit of any number intelligence and law enforcement agencies or corporations.

Also I prefer not to have my fridge or tea kettle drafted into a bot army.
Ha!
My girlfriend has the same paranoia about the Alexa, but I point out to her that she has been carrying an iPhone around for years and that shit listens to you even when it's turned off.
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Offline Rai

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 05:02:57 PM »
Call me paranoid, but I prefer not to have a listening device installed in my home, providing direct and un-controllable access for the benefit of any number intelligence and law enforcement agencies or corporations.

Also I prefer not to have my fridge or tea kettle drafted into a bot army.
Ha!
My girlfriend has the same paranoia about the Alexa, but I point out to her that she has been carrying an iPhone around for years and that shit listens to you even when it's turned off.

True, but phones have already invaded our existence and are kinda necessary.

Also, I would kill for a half-wit phone which can run whatsapp, spotify and pocket casts but allows me to opt out from google/apple surveillance. I can totally live without social media and emails and even maps on my phone.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Smart stuff for the home
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 05:16:56 PM »
My girlfriend has the same paranoia about the Alexa, but I point out to her that she has been carrying an iPhone around for years and that shit listens to you even when it's turned off.

Citation needed.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

 

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