Smart Home hubs were at the top of the 2016 holiday gift list. Of course, many recipients are unfamiliar with these devices, so it wouldn’t be unusual for them to be in awe of their gift. With a little research and assistance from the tech-knowledgeable family member, the home hub could be up and running in a matter of minutes.
What Is A Smart Home Hub?
The hub is basically the control center for a home network. It plugs directly into an Internet router, allowing all the connected devices to communicate with each other. Of course, it is never going to be this easy to set up a Smart Home, because each gadget comes with its own separate app and hub. Thanks to Smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, home automation has just gotten easier. These multipurpose hubs allow the consumer to consolidate all of their connected devices into a single, reliable system.
When it comes to getting the maximum benefits of the hub, the placement will be the determining factor. The Echo and Home are embedded with speakers, so users can play tunes from the usual services, including Pandora, TuneIn and Spotify. Of course, Echo will need to be set up as a Bluetooth speaker to make this possible. Thanks to the voice recognition technology and embedded microphones, users can activate the speakers from across the room with voice commands.
The speakers will respond across the room, so there is no need to have it sitting right beside you. However, the placement should be where you will get the most use from it.
Pairing With Other Devices
To enhance your home automation system, you will need to start linking devices to it. Echo supports a wide array of third-party devices, while the Google Home is playing catch-up. Echo is compatible with Ecobee, Nest, Wink, Insteon, SmartThings, Philips Hue, Emerson, TP-LINK and Lutron connected products. Home is compatible with Philips Hue, SmartThings, Nest, IFTT, Chromecast and Sony Smart products.
Echo can also link you with Domino’s Pizza, Expedia, Good Housekeeping, Allrecipes, and Uber and CNBC. Home allows user to launch and control YouTube via Chromecast.
Be sure to check out Echo’s plethora of skills available in the Alexa app.