When I became a parent, I suddenly looked at the world in a completely different way. Things that wouldn’t phase me before would set off alarm bells in my head of being unsafe; even the foods I would eat in pregnancy were something that I was cautious with. Making my home a safe environment for my children has been a big priority, whether we’re in the house or out and about and wanting to come back to find things just as we left them.
But, parent or not, being able to protect our home and keep it as the safe haven that we know, is really key.
And the great thing is that in this day and age, we have many things that can help us to keep our homes safer than ever before. One of the things that we can do is using the innovations in smart technology to help keep our homes secure and protected, even when you’re out or away on holiday. Because as we are coming to find out, a smart home is a safer home as we can track things and monitor things much more easily.
There are many apps that we can use like Ring, Leakbot, and Nest that make it all easier to manage your home, especially when you’re away from home. And while all these are useful in their own right, what brings them to a new level (that I am still getting my head around), is how they can ‘talk’ to each other and all help each other out. Using a Google Home, for instance, can allow you to connect all your smart tech at the same time. So whether you’re in the house and want to ask for the traffic before you leave for work, or are away on holiday and want to have the heating on for when you get back, it is a good way to help protect your home.
I have been using a Google Home recently and have loved seeing what it can do. First of all, I was impressed by how compact it all is. Before it arrived, I was imagining it to be quite large, and while it looks stylish, I thought it might take up a lot of space on a side table. But in reality, it is really quite small, which is a good thing. It can just sit on your table by a lamp and your other things and not really stand out. So for me, that was a definite selling point. It looks pretty slick and I like the simplicity of the colours.
As far as physical buttons go, there’s just one: a microphone mute button on the back. but the main fancy feature is a touch panel on the top of it, which adjusts the volume, as well as being a play or pause button for music. You can also use the top touch panel to then start speaking if you don’t want to keep saying ‘OK Google’.
Setting It Up
It was really easy to set up with the Google Home App on my phone, logging in using my Google account. Then when you ask it what is planned for the day, it is synced to your calendar and can tell you about appointments and things that you have connected to your Google account. It is also great for random facts that you need checking (hello, University Challenge), and it will even tell you jokes.
Though having it tell you jokes can be pretty funny, it is not just a gimmick. What the Google Home does really well is how well it interacts with the other tech that you have in your home. We have a smart TV so being able to show something on Netflix right away was really slick and very low effort. It works with other apps like BBC iPlayer, and Spotify too. In fact, one of the big likes for me is how you can sync it to any music accounts that you have so that you can just ask it to play you a particular playlist or songs by a certain artist. I have found this great when cooking and you’re hands are full and unable to skip a song or change playlists. A really cool feature. If you get the right lightbulbs you can dim your lights with the Google Home, and control your heating by connecting it to Nest if you have that too.
All in all, I have bee really impressed by the Google Home. the sound quality is good and so far, it has been something that has been used on a daily basis. I think that we need to integrate more tech into our home to really make the most of it. But so far, it is something that I would definitely recommend.
Have you got any smart tech in your home? Have you tried a Google Home before? It would be great to hear what you think.
*Thank you to More Than for our new Google Home. All words and opinions are my own.