Thanks to improvements in home networking, internet connectivity and smartphone proliferation, there are more and more gadgets that are specific for homes launching every year. Here is a look at three growing categories and what they can do:
This market was pioneered by Amazon with its Echo speaker/assistant powered by Alexa. Google is now getting into the market with its soon to be launched Google Home device. Both are controlled by voice and can do everything from control your lights, setting reminders to playing music. You can also ask general knowledge questions and get answers.
Chromecasts and devices like the Apple TV allow the user to send video from the smartphone directly to the TV. You can even send the song you are listening to directly to a Chromecast Audio device or capable speaker. The advantage here is that selection is done on the phone but after it is cast, or air-played, the other device then takes over showing it on the TV.
For multi-room audio, the main company in this market is Sonos. Although not cheap, the speakers produce high-quality audio and can be controlled independently or in groups. Google’s Chromecast Audio also has multi-room capability but so far has not added the ability to group different rooms for audio or volume control.
These are just three of the many categories of devices that can be used to make your home connected.