An Intelligent Gift for Your Home this Holiday

Artificial Intelligence is coming home for the holidays . . . or perhaps it’s more like taking over your home for the holidays.

The hottest trend this holiday season is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in the home. The two most popular tech standards are Apple’s Home Kit and Google Home. Each can be accessed using your smartphone or a home hub (a speaker-like device) like Amazon Echo Alex, Apple’s HomePod, or Google Home.

These home hubs add a digital assistant to your house that can play music, answer questions, or perform tasks. Tasks include turning on the den lights, turning up the heat, or opening the garage door. Manufacturers like Apple, Google and Amazon have done a lot of work to make these products friendly, easy to use, and fun. While setup can take a bit of time, all you really need to get started is home WiFi and some smart accessories.

Some popular smart accessories are smart lighting systems (Philips Hue), smart security cameras (Nest), smart locks (August), smart plugs (Belkin), smart doorbells (Ring) and smart thermostats (Nest) . . . just to name a few.

Any new technology comes with growing pains. Smart home tech is not a universal standard, so some things will work well together and others will not. When you’re looking at home solutions, be sure to start by deciding if you are going to use Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Echo or something else. It’s kind of like the choice in the 80’s between VHS and BETA. Once you’ve chosen your system, you can easily add on additional home accessories as desired.

The promise of A.I. is to make life easier and give us more time in our daily lives. I often think of my first automated product, “Mr. Coffee.” All I had to do was set it up before bed and in the morning, I had brewed coffee. Of course, today’s A.I. does a whole lot more than brew coffee, but it can bring you the same amount of joy. The holidays are all about spreading joy so A.I. will make a great holiday gift this season . . . to either give or, even more, to receive!

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