Written by Tim Jones - Sales Manager, Intelligent Home
When we were kids, Dad would ask us to get up and get the TV remote or turn the lights off. Now Dads can simply use a voice command and ask Alexa to do it. Here’s 6 ways I’m using tech at home to take care of everyday tasks without putting much effort into it at all!
1. My little guy is obsessed with monster trucks and cars. He has a massive collection of Hot Wheels that ultimately end up being left all over the floor at night. To avoid the dreaded “Lego experience”, I attached a smart plug to my table lamp in the living area which turns on at 8pm and remains on until 6.30am the following morning. No more treading on toy cars barefoot!
2. Constantly running late with a small child has meant that my wife and I have left home a number of times without arming our alarm system. Our Alarm.com geofencing feature means that when we get to the freeway on-ramp (approx. 1.5km from home) our alarm will send a notification to our mobile phones warning us if the system isn’t armed. We’re then prompted to arm the system with a 1 button press.
Handy hint for FIFO workers! Set up a geofence around the airport to remind you to arm your system if you’ve forgotten.
3. Smart wiring my home has relieved congestion from my home’s WiFi. I’ve connected data cables to devices that are permanently fixed to a location, like my smart TV and then I use WiFi for my portable devices. The best way to think about the difference between wired and wireless is to liken it to watering your garden. If I handed you a garden hose, and someone else a watering can, you’d know immediately which method is going to work faster and more efficiently. The same goes with WiFi.
4. I’ve wall mounted my living room TV because it reduces clutter on our entertainment unit and secures the TV to the wall. Ensuring my boy’s safety was a major consideration when designing my home and wall mounting the TV eliminates the risk of our TV falling onto children.
Handy hint for TV wall mounting! Always consider what you may want to connect to your TV in the future. It’s best to run spare cables to the TV to hook up a gaming console, CCTV security cameras or laptop etc. You don’t want to have to remove the TV from the wall to expand your set up later.
5. At the end of each night I use a one button press via my Control4 home automation system to turn my home “off”. I recently had a house guest stay overnight and they left my home theatre projector on…we all know how much replacement lamps can cost. Checking the app meant that I could switch off my projector remotely to save it from running all night.
Handy hint! Integrating voice control as part of your Control4 system gives you the ability to turn on and off the system from anywhere in the home. It works perfectly for situation when your hands are full, or your kid hides the remote control so you can’t turn off their favourite TV show.
6. Don’t you hate it when sneaking into your kid’s bedroom to check the temperature wakes them up? Connecting a Sensibo controller to the split system in my son’s bedroom has been an absolute sleep-saver! I can now turn the aircon up/down and on/off from my smart phone on the couch or in bed. I’ve also set an alert to let me know if the temperature in the room goes below or above a certain temperature. So, no need to wake in a panic wondering if the room is too hot or too cold.
Handy hint! Sensibo works with any airconditioner that has an infra-red remote control. It also interfaces with Amazon Alexa, so if our hands are full we can ask Alexa to turn on the aircon.