Google is at CES this year in a big way. One of the announcements is an Echo Show competitor.
It’s a new year, and as we’ve been thinking about what we’ll be covering on the blog this year, my mind naturally turned to smart home tech. 2017 was a big year for the smart home, with Google coming on the scene and quickly turning into a key player, an explosion in Philips Hue adoption, and more. I feel like an increasing number of my friends are getting into the game with smart lights, thermostats, and voice assistants.
But I don’t think we’ve reached “peak smart home” by any means. So what’s next? I decided to take a stab at what I think we can expect to see this year.
Google announced a product last week that a lot of us have been waiting for. It’s called the Google Home Mini, and it’s a miniaturized version of the Google Home smart speaker. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and costs only $50. This might be the product that really brings Google into the (smart) home.
If you follow our blog, you’ve probably heard me talk about smart lights. Philips Hue is the most well-known name, but several manufacturers have created light bulbs that connect to your home network and allow you to control them with an app or a voice assistant. They’re futuristic and cool.
But among people I talk to, by far the most common sentiment about smart lights is that they may be fun but they’re way too expensive just to keep you from having to flip a light switch. It’s a reasonable criticism, but you might be surprised by some of the other things you can do with smart lights.
Before you dismiss the idea of buying smart lights, let me share a few reasons I think they’re worth having.
If you’re interested in jumping into the world of smart home technology, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to start and what to buy first. To help with that, I’ve come up with a short list of trusted product recommendations to bring your home into the 21st century. Welcome to the Smart Home Starter Kit!
File this under the category of “it’s about time”: whole-home music playback is finally coming to the Amazon Echo. Reports indicate that Amazon has completed its testing of the feature, so we can probably expect to see it in a software update any day now. Finally!
At the WWDC conference last week, Apple announced its long-awaited entry into the home voice assistant market: the Apple HomePod. In traditional Apple fashion, it’s beautiful and expensive. But unfortunately, it’s not going to be available until December. So the question is: should you hold out until the HomePod is released, or go with another option now, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home?
Recently, Google held its yearly developer conference, Google I/O. Google is involved in a dizzying number of different projects and initiatives, but one of the stars of the show this year was the Google Assistant. Since Google Assistant is the voice assistant used on Android phones as well as in the Google Home, Google’s keynote presentation included some announcements that will be exciting to Android and Google Home fans. Let’s take a look at some of what Google announced. Some of this is available now and some will be available in the next few months, but there is some exciting stuff here.