How to Make Your Smarthome Easier for Other People to Use

A couple sitting on the couch controls all the functions of the house, such as wi-fi, heating, lighting and television by holography. Home automation concept, automation, future, technology
Quality / Shutterstock

Smarthomes are a convenient way to automate your home and give you easy control from anywhere. But with children, extended family and guests, things get complicated quickly. Here are some ways to make your work easier to use.

Smarthomes are as powerful as the user

If you have already installed smart locks, a smart thermostat, smart lights, and smart plugsyou are on your way to a home full of convenience and remote control. But the problem often comes from people in your home who are not tech savvy enough to set up a smarthome. They may not know how to turn on and off their devices and try clumsily to use voice commands. In a few simple steps, you make life easier for small children, extended families and even first guests.

Create direct voice commands

Google Assistant App showing devices clustered in the living room

One of the best things about a smarthome is to tell him what to do with your voice. Of course, you can control them in the traditional way, but it is very satisfying to be able to talk to your house and turn off the lights, turn on the TV and change the thermostat. However, this is only true when it runs on the first try. If you can not use voice commands, everyone will suffer. So be sure to group your devicesand adequately name these groups and devices is.

If you have young children at home, you may need to make some changes to the names of your devices and groups. Try to aim for words with fewer syllables easy to spell out. Both Google and Alexa helpers work great when they listen to a five year old and surprisingly well with a three year old. But the harder it is for a child to say a command, the more difficult it will be for your voice assistant to understand them.

The shortest and smallest words are the best option, and that's one of the benefits of correctly grouping the elements. With appropriate groups, they can say "turn on the light" in a room rather than "light the living room light" or kitchen light, etc. Family members and guests will also benefit because there is less to say.

Provide traditional controls where possible

Two smart switches and a third traditional switch
Both external switches are smart. the middle switch is traditional. The left switch is off.

Smart light bulbs are fantastic, but if other people in your home are reluctant to use voice assistants, the only way to control your smart light bulbs is to use an app. This is not always a good option, especially for children or guests. Another option is to use smart switches instead of. These look a lot like a rocker light switch and have the benefit of controlling multiple lights (if the switch would normally do that) while communicating with your subject server about the current status of light (on or off)

With a smart switch, your lights are never out of sync with your apps and voice assistants, and anyone who is reluctant to use more sophisticated options can still control them. The same is true for smart locks with a traditional keyhole or pin code option. With a key or PIN, your kids and guests will not need to download an app to unlock your door.

Create a dashboard if traditional controls are not available

Smart home, intelligent home automation remote control technology concept on smartphone / tablet working with smarthome application
Alexander Kirch / Shutterstock

Sometimes, it is simply not possible to provide a traditional control option, such as with smart LED strips or smart cards. Voice assistants can help you, but if that does not work, it may be wise to reassign an old tablet to a compact dashboard. A dashboard can give an overview of the possible commands in the house and is simple to use as on / off buttons. If possible, install the tablet somewhere to find it easily.

Alternatively, the Google Home Hub, Echo show, Echo Spot, and other smart displays provide smart home controls on the screen. They do however need a navigation to access the appropriate screen. A dedicated dashboard can be a more intuitive option for guests and children.

Postal instructions in visible places

If all else fails, especially with guests, it is sometimes helpful to have well-written instructions in easy-to-find places. Place posters in commonly used areas with information to tell your Google Home or Alexa next to these devices, such as "to turn off the light, tell Alexa to turn off the light" and maybe other helpful suggestions like timers.

The more you help your guests use voice commands, the easier they will be to try them on their own. It may be helpful to have suggestions outside of the perfect architecture, such as timers and metric conversions in the kitchen. If you need the signs to be visible frequently, consider something that blends well into your home's look, like a kitchen board.

You can even use Alexa's plans to create your own Alexa skills so that people can ask Alexa for basic instructions that you provide. Amazon provides built-in skills that you can develop quickly to give instructions to hosts, babysitters and even pet guards. They are even smart enough to give different instructions at different times of the day. But you can also define your own skills to help people learn to control your character.

With any new technology, the best thing to do is to lower the entrance barrier as much as possible. If you make your Smarthome devices seem less intimidating, children, family and guests will have more courage to experience what works and what does not work. Often, this experiment can teach you some things about smart homes that you have not done, or help you identify areas that could be improved. Just avoid overwhelming people, and you should be on the road to a more useful smarthome for everyone.


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