Intro To Smart Home Ecosystem
A smart home ecosystem is a system where every device works together, and devices can be added or removed without disrupting service. It is treated as a software system that coordinates products from multiple categories.
Essentially, a smart home ecosystem is a platform that allows you to control your connected devices from one central location.
It All Starts With a Smart Hub
A smart home ecosystem starts with a hub, which is the brain, coordinating all of your smart products together. The hub connects to your devices wirelessly and gives you the ability to control them using your smartphone or voice commands.
Most hubs also come with a mobile App that lets you add new devices, create rules, and automate your home. Some popular hubs include the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit.
If you’re just getting started with smart home technology, a hub is a great place to start. That is because you can add devices to it over time and slowly build up your ecosystem.
Can I Do Without a Smart Hub?
If you do not want to use a hub, there are some stand-alone products that do not require one.
For example, the Philips Hue light bulbs can be controlled with your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. However, if you want to use the Philips Hue app, you will need a bridge.
While it is possible to use an app on your phone in place of the hub, you would be missing out on some features, convenience, and accessibility.
Factors To Consider - Choosing The Right Smart Home Ecosystem
(1) Your Preferred OS
Another thing to think about is what operating system you use for your phone and other mobile devices. For example, if you have an iPhone or iPad, then Apple Homekit is a good choice.
However, keep in mind that many of the HomeKit products do not work well with Android phones. On the other hand, many popular smart home products are not compatible with Apple's ecosystem but can be used with an iOS device.
(2) Which Is Your Favourite Voice Assistant?
The next thing you need to think about is which voice assistant you want to use. If you want to use Amazon's Echo devices, then the Alexa platform will work well for you.
If you're an iPhone user, Siri is probably your best bet. Google Home users will obviously want to use the Google Assistant.
The three major smart home ecosystems- Apple, Amazon, and Google- each have their own
assistant; Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant respectively. The exception to this rule is Samsung SmartThings which does not support any specific assistant.
However, with improvements in technology, customisation can easily be achieved. You can easily use all different products together - For example, you could use HomeKit forwall visualization on your iPad in the living room while using an Amazon Echo for voice control in every room and a Google Nest in the kitchen.
Although Nest is not compatible with HomeKit, you can connect it to a bridging system. By doing this, you are essentially creating a bridge between the two that uses the iOS API platform. This will give you access to almost any other product on the market.
At Home-A-Genius, our eco-system allows the android or apple user to use all the different "conflicting" products all at the same time.
(3) Compatibility For Other Products
Wheneveryou choose an eco-system, you would also want to consider if it is able to sync all of your desired smart products.
(4) Consider The Ecosystem Of The Company
Lastly, it is important to consider the ecosystem of the company you are thinking about purchasing from. Factors to think about are: security, reliability, and after sales support.
The Alexa ecosystem is one of the most prevalent and widely used on the market, with a range of compatible devices that include thermostats (Ecobee4), lights, TVs (Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Editions), and more.
Some devices have Alexa built-in, while others are compatible with Alexa. Once you enable the skill for the device, Alexa can identify and control it.
Google Assistant offers a unique and unmatched experience of being able to control your smart home with just your voice. All Android smartphones come with Google Assistant built-in, which can do everything from playing music to getting news updates, taking calls, sending messages, and controlling smart home gadgets.
The main reason for Google Home's success is that it is the voice assistant app already installed on Android devices, which make up 80% of the smartphone market. With people already familiar with how to use Google Assistant, it has an advantage over Alexa. The Assistant also works in cooperation with the Google Home app on any Android or IOS device.
HomeKitis an Apple technology platform that acts as a convenient, secure way to control various aspects of your home-- from the lighting and door locks, to the thermostat and more-- all from your iPhone, iPad or other Apple device.An even better feature is that everything connect can be controlled by simply using the Home app on any iOS, iPadOS or macOS device. Plus, it works with Siri for added convenience!
The Home App is divided into three sections: Home, Rooms, and Automation. The home section lists all your smart devices with selected favourites at the top. The rooms section groups devices based on their locations in your house. Lastly, the automation section allows you to automate certain behaviours for your smart devices.
HomeKit has fewer compatible devices than Alexa or Google Assistant, but new products are being added to the list constantly. HomeKit is a protocol that all devices need in order to get access and work with Apple products.
However, Apple has teamed up with Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio to make sure their TVs are HomeKit supported. Also, the AirPlay streaming standard now works with more devices that are not made by Apple.
Although Bixby isn't yet as intelligent as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, it's quickly getting smarter and works great for controlling devices in your home. The SmartThings app is reputed for its clean interface and easy layout that lets users control both individual appliances and groups of them together by rooms.
If you have other Samsung products, such as a TV or phone, then it might be beneficial for you to use SmartThings as your home platform. It's straightforward and easy to use.
The Home-A-Genius Difference
So you do not have to worry about compatibility issues ever again. And if isn't enough, you get to pick which interface you want to use: Apple's or our all-inclusive Home-A-Genius App!