The tech you need to build your very own smart home
The once-thought futuristic idea of a connected home is now much more attainable. Prices are coming down all the time, and there’s more variety on the shelves than ever. So, let’s check out the best gadgets to get started with…
Google Home and Google Home Mini gives you your very own Google. The discreet smart speaker lets you control your home with just your voice, to control music or other connected tech. You can play and pause music from your favourite streaming service, search the web for answers to pretty much anything, and even play quizzes with the family.
One of its most impressive features is its ability to differentiate between your voice and your partner’s. So, if you ask Google Home to message Alex, it’ll know you mean your boss, Alexandra, and not boyfriend’s drinking buddy.
Order Google Home or Google Home Mini from our sister company, Currys PC World, by following this links.
Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus
Hue’s smart lighting systems lets you do much more than wirelessly turn the lights on and off at home. You can choose from over 16 million colours, and have those colours match the film you’re watching or change in time to the music you’re listening to.
The track lighting is sold in 2m sections, but you can add extra pieces to make a 10m continuous strip. And if you find one bit is too long, you can quite literally chop them up to suit the size of the room.
Get your hands on Philips smart lights from Currys PC World by following this link.
Last year Amazon released the first version of Echo, and it went down a storm. But now it’s better than ever. The hub, a tall, sleek cylinder, houses a 360-degree speaker and a long-range microphone, to listen out for your commands no matter when you are in the room. This is where Alexa comes in. It’s Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, letting you control music and pretty much everything else, with just your voice.
Simply say “Alexa” and then ask whatever you want. From the more basic commands like “Will it rain today?” to more impressive “Order me an Uber”, Alexa can do it all.
Amazon Echo is available to order from Currys PC World – just follow this link.
Google Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, letting you beam content from your phone, tablet or laptop. And unlike previous Chromecast models, the Ultra gives you 4K UHD resolution.
And just because you’re sending the picture from your device, it doesn’t mean you can’t do other things at the same time. Simply minimise the Google Home app and the stream will continue on the big screen, while you check IMDb for where you’ve seen that actor before.
Get Google Chromecast Ultra from Currys PC World by following this link.
Are you thinking of making your home smart this Christmas? Drop us a comment below if you have anything to add or any questions.