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Like death and taxes, you simply cannot avoid IoT! It is everywhere! To use a ten-dollar word, it is simply ubiquitous. Love it or hate it; the choice is yours. Either way, get comfortable with it and understand it. I think you’ll come to love it once you embrace how it works – and how you can make it work for YOU.
We think in terms of "Smart Homes," but with the advent of cybernetics that includes digital assistants, cloud services and personal medical devices (to name a few) our Internet of Things is unique. My Internet of Things includes a wide variety of emerging technologies. Examples include voice-controlled virtual assistants, robots, smart thermostats and blinds, and unifying platforms like SmartThings and IFTTT (“if this, then that”). In my home, I incorporated a combination of these things, selecting what I felt was the best product for each task – some overlap.
The technology is futuristic and, frankly, cool; but it required me to change the way I interacted with the world around me. Once my smart home was set up the way I wanted, I had to be mindful that it was there to help me – albeit not necessarily on my terms. I had to learn how to interact with my virtual assistants. That journey is still unfolding, and I expect both my smart home and IoT to keep expanding and improving as we add more things.
This book started simply as the notes I kept during my recent personal experience with selecting and setting up smart home devices for a new house. The scope of this book is broad because the technology isn’t just one smart home device; it’s all around us in our day to day lives. For that reason, I’ve included a lot of information on smart applications, mobile operating systems, cloud services, and how they overlap and share data.
While researching the project, my husband and I read a plethora of reviews from folks like us (real people, that is). Some reviews were admittedly more insightful than others, but we gained valuable insights into what to avoid, what questions to ask, and we found some great ideas. If you are a DIY type or just want a general idea of what is going on with smart homes, this book will show you a bit of what is possible. By the end of this book, indeed, I hope that you will be comfortable in the Internet of Things (or “IoT”) world of connected devices, virtual assistants, skills, connected apps, or IFTTT applets.
Chapter 3 outlines the basics of the technology behind IoT, and then Chapter 4 discusses ideas for setting up a smart home.
Chapter 5 moves beyond smart home devices and covers apps, cloud services, and sharing data. Smart home solutions are discussed in Chapters 6-9. Chapters 10 and 11 deal with virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Smart apps are discussed in Chapter 12.
As you go through the chapters, you will learn the terminology and what really matters when buying equipment. In case you’re like me and like to skip around as topics interest you, the Table of Contents is organized so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. Now let’s get started and show you how to:
• Select good equipment and plan for future growth.
• Set up and connect everything.
• Integrate apps and systems.
• Maintain your smart home.