Smart Devices and Home Automation

Do Smart devices have a place in your home?

  • Yup, Alexa runs the gaff for me

    Votes: 6 15.4%
  • Nope, data is for hoarding. Google can eff right off

    Votes: 17 43.6%
  • Nope, smart is for Regimental blazers and well pressed slacks

    Votes: 12 30.8%
  • Beep Boop, I am a robot!

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • 01001001 00100000 01100001 01101101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01110000 0

    Votes: 3 7.7%

  • Total voters
    39

lert

LE
I have electric outdoor blinds on all the windows and I now want to integrate these with Alexa, but I don't know how to go about it. I have switches on the walls with either an up or down arrow. I assume I will have to replace these switches with something that can be triggered via wifi/Alexa.
Have a look at the Shelly-1. Can sit in the back box of an exisiting switch and add smart functionality without having to replace the entire unit.

 

lert

LE
Bus pass users answer:- Having survived 43 years of married life, raised 6 kids, run a small business, all without the gizmos and gadgets that seem essential today, i think i can see out the next 20 years or so left to me to continue to function without, HIVE, ALEXA, whatsapp, facebook, smart meters, A tablet, smart phone and a raft of other crap that have seemed to dominate peoples lives. I can work out how to switch on, and programme the central heating, write out a shopping list, restock the food cupboard, switch on a light, the TV wireless, Record player, VHS, cassette DVD and CD players, read a real book, fill and programme the washing machine, peel spuds, set the timer on the cooker, and have a reasonable knowledge of how the world works, British history, and a good insight into the female psyche.

At 71 i can still take off my socks without sitting down, bend over and tie my shoelaces, and run for a bloody bus, WTF would i want to clutter my life with F-ing electronics, my only concession is this computer, and even that is still a mystery to me, over and above E-Mails and Microsoft word. Must go, That nice Mr chamberlain is going to address the nation....something about that Mr Hitler chap.:oops:
You're 71.

You have a VHS player.

VHS launched in 1977, so you were at least 27-ish when you bought your first.

So once you were open to new tech and new ideas. But now you're not.

Grandad.
 
I want a robot lawn mower, but worry I may be on the slippery slope of helping create time travelling cyborgs who seek to destroy the human race, so are sticking with an electric push mower...
 

BlipDriver

War Hero
If you have a Ring Doorbell - be sure to get an Amazon Show - you can connect directly to the doorbell, see who's there and talk to them.

Also - get all of your Amazon Devices to play a certain chime etc when the Ring doorbell rings (aswell as your standard Ring Chime devices).

Ours play a Christmas Tune this month - some Elfy Tune.

Also the same for Nest Doorbells when using a Google Nest Hub.
Not at the moment, Ring currently entering hour six of a global problem caused by Amazon Web services going offline. (Some of the Twitter tantrums are great).
Can't access any of the cameras or the account, but the garden lights activated by the cameras still work...
 
I love my tech - I have smart electric radiators that can be altered from the office if I am coming home at a different time to normal.

In the morning I say good morning to Google and she turns on the coffee machine, turns on the lights in the living room and bedroom and turns on Radio 4 in the living room.

At night I tell her good night - she turns out all the lights in the apartment and puts out lovely soothing forest sounds to lull me to sleep. If I tell her ’intruder’ then the lights go on everywhere, in red and ‘bodies hit the floor‘ start playing (that last one I set up for giggles only).

BUT: I did a couple of weeks on a placement with AWS. If you download an App that monitors your internet then you will quickly figure out that, yeah - they are always listening to you. There is a reason that Amazon suggested the very book that they were discussing on start the week when I opened up that App.

Oh and if you can rename your devices to something that can’t be recognised by someone who is creeping around sampling IP addresses. There are Wi-Fi enabled sex toys and we were able to geolocate where a number of them were located around us VERY simply. Now consider that from the viewpoint of a hacker looking to exploit vulnerabilities for giggles - like recording several hours of babestation on your TiVo whilst you sleep or getting your fridge to order 300 bananas from Waitrose for you.
 

BlipDriver

War Hero
The biggest tip I have, is to hold off on tying yourself to a smart eco system.

Amazon is probably a solid bet with Alexa.

Anything with Google behind it, be ware. Google likes to kill services at a whim.

Sonos bricked tons of old kit with s firmware update, so don't give a shit.

Anything from Chinaland Ltd Very Good Best Home Clever System, at your peril.

I believe Alexa is the way forward, purely because it's more than a smart home firm. It's a ******* monolith with shopping and proprietary TV channels, which Alexa brings sales in to.

Also, tell Alexa you love her. On a bad DIY day (all of them) when Mrs B is threatening divorce over my efforts again, I'll whisper it to her just to hear her say it back.
I went with Alexa as Amazon already has all my data, Google doesn't. There is also the argument that Amazon don't see my data as an income stream, I'll stop there.
 

BlipDriver

War Hero
It's alright you blokes fitting this crap Smart Devices and Home Automation kit to your homes,
I take it, your Mrs understands how it works in case you are not around, when it frecks up,
because if your Mrs is anything like mine, who as trouble operating the TV remote.
You could be heading for a lot of uphill in the future, which you have brought on yourself
and could have avoided by leaving things simple.
Keep things simple, means happy wife, ;)
Precisely the reason I went voice control for many things, all the controls are hidden away so she can't fubar it.
 

endure

GCM
My kettle cost a tenner from the Sainsburys basics range years ago.
It boils water very fast.
Works for me.
My kettle has just thrown its hand in. It was a Currys own brand (Logik) and I bought it 28 years ago.
 
You're 71.

You have a VHS player.

VHS launched in 1977, so you were at least 27-ish when you bought your first.

So once you were open to new tech and new ideas. But now you're not.

Grandad.

Granddad of 6.

Our first VHS was bought in 1985, i was 35.
We have a VHS - DVD combo, bought by one of the kids for us at Christmas, many years ago. I also own a car, not a horse and buggy, so you see i do live in the real world, just not yours. As for "New Tech" there comes a point where it becomes non essential, we function quite well without all the stuff you seem to think that without which, you will stop living-existing. Its a lazy mans world, OK until it stops working, then what, you will have to revert to doing it manually, that will become a time consuming bore for you, for me, not a problem. Are you aware that the ALEXA thing is listening 24/7, and all conversations that are not commands-requests-orders are logged, think about the implications of that. ;)
 
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Oily101

Old-Salt
IKEA have the Tradfri range of lights and sockets, they have also worked with Sonos and produce some very good table lamps and wall speakers.
It has it's own hub but this works seamlessly with Google and no doubt Alexa.
Compared to the Philips Hue system it's far better value for money
 
Thanks Things That Never Happened Man!

Of course wired controllers never, ever fail do they? Nor do Smart controllers have a manual override on the physical connection to the boiler :rolleyes:


Lots of issues with digital thermostats, programmers, especially wireless, down the years....

In 45 years in the game never had one of these fail-


As people get older they lose their ability to adapt to new devices, and I ended up with some of my older customers having a simple roomstat fitted instead of a programmer.

When they got out of bed, they turned it up to 21-25c, in the evening they turned it down to 15c, in the summer, turned it off........ happy as Larry, they could cope with it.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
My brother has a built in satnav and music system on his motorcycle plus intercom so that he can talk to his son on his bike
I prefer to look at the road
I have a speedo, a rev counter And some warning lights
I use a map and fil out a card with prompts
Does me
If I get lost in a city I use an old smartphone
But generally I read the signs
I can't be doing with all that stuff that needs to be plugged in and messed with
Also my stuff does not get nicked
 
My brother has a built in satnav and music system on his motorcycle plus intercom so that he can talk to his son on his bike
I prefer to look at the road
I have a speedo, a rev counter And some warning lights
I use a map and fil out a card with prompts
Does me
If I get lost in a city I use an old smartphone
But generally I read the signs
I can't be doing with all that stuff that needs to be plugged in and messed with
Also my stuff does not get nicked


Wait till you get a bastard speeding ticket for exceeding 30mph..... so easy to do.

I have trouble seeing my speedo, you have to take your eyes off the road, constantly, and the hazards in a 30 zone are usually far greater, with pedestrians, dogs, opening car doors etc etc.

I wasv so bloody angry at the pissing ticket, that I fitted a lighter socket, so I could fit a GPS on my windscreen, with a flashing and audible warning if I stray over the limit.
 
Granddad of 6.

Are you aware that the ALEXA thing is listening 24/7, and all conversations that are not commands-requests-orders are logged, think about the implications of that. ;)

[Wah Shield Up]

No they're not - otherwise every Domestic or Child Abuse case investigated by the Police would result in a request to Amazon where a device is present to pull all conversations, and that isn't the case.

Don't you think Social Media would be flooded with 'leaked' conversations by millions - including all the top celebrities and politicians if they were being captured?

[Wah Shield Down]

Amazon do not want to be at the sharp end of things like this -


Hear nothing, say nothing.
 
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[Wah Shield Up]

No they're not - otherwise every Domestic or Child Abuse case investigated by the Police would result in a request to Amazon where a device is present to pull all conversations, and that isn't the case.
[Wah Shield Down]

awe I like the idea of having an echo dot in the bathroom so amazon can listen to me shitting...
 
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Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
There was a recent murder case in the US solved due to getting the audio from the music box thingy
Quite an informative article in the Times about it
 
Hive stuff works well, very useful in terms of keeping watch over temp. in another property which is currently unoccupied, also running alarm, camera, lights etc.

But all from App. Voice control can sod right off
Worth the coin though?
 

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