Not too smart smart home

The term smart home gets thrown around a lot, because companies love marketing. The truth is, smart home just means your gadgets can network—so they can talk to each other and the Internet if you want. This means there’s a spectrum of functionality that can fall under the smart home umbrella. Today we’re going to talk about a pretty dumb smart home.

This is the kind of home you’re not going to have a conversation with, but you’ll be able do things like control it with your phone remotely. That’s what we’re looking at here, and it comprises three things:

1. A really good router. You can hook your house up to whatever the cable company gives you, but it’s not ideal. If you’re going to spend on one aspect of your connected home, buy a really good router setup: this allows your gadgets to talk to each other, which is the whole point.

2. A hub, a central control center. This could be a smart speaker or a purpose-built smart home hub. We’re going to use the Google Home app, because it’s really flexible—i.e., you can decide to add more functionality to it pretty easily—and because it’s incredibly simple to use.

3.Your smart gadgets. We’re going to keep it pretty simple: we’re hooking up a smart thermostat and some lights. This is a baseline smart home, and almost anyone can set one of these up in an evening or a weekend day.

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VIDEO BY
Joe Brown & Tom McNamara

For more not too smart home explainers, go to www.popsci.com/

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