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The Art of Technology
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Tag Archives: voice control
Whenever you think about the holidays, you probably think about presents or twinkle lights. Maybe you think about friends and family around the table, enjoying a meal and each other’s company – or maybe you just can’t wait for pie! The reality, though, is that you’re probably spending a lot more time in the kitchen. Thankfully, there’s new tech available to help you make sure you don’t miss out on any of the festivities.
Make it personal
Your kitchen is one of the most personal, necessary rooms in your entire home and it’s worth taking the extra time to personalize it with the right functionality to fit your lifestyle. Entertainment features like built-in audio or video screens, smart appliances and voice-controlled smart home automation like Josh.ai give you the opportunity to personalize your kitchen to suit your needs for not only everyday living, but for special entertaining, too.
Your kitchen can be your new sous-chef
There are countless options currently available for smart appliances like refrigerators, ovens and “hubs” like Josh.ai, Google Home, or Amazon’s Echo. And while these might seem a little frivolous at first, it’s worth taking time to consider the added convenience of having them in your home. Having an app connected to your oven means you don’t have to miss the football game or your favorite holiday movie, and that smart refrigerator can text you a picture of your refrigerator’s contents and save you from a second trip to the store. Connect these smart appliances with a hub like Josh, and you’ve got an extra set of hands in the kitchen even when you’re not at home!
Smart appliance means safety
With hectic schedules, guests on their way and a lot on your plate, you wouldn’t be the first to forget to turn off the stove, turn off the lights or feel like you need to be in two places at once. By incorporating the right smart technologies, you can maximize safety AND convenience in your kitchen. Your stove and oven can now warn you that they’ve been left on – instead of hearing the news from your smoke detector (or worse). You can also increase your energy efficiencies with smart appliances, which helps the planet and your wallet.
If a smart kitchen sounds like the right solution for your family this holiday season, let us help! We’re here to guide you through the best smart technologies for you and your home.
Additional reading: Preparing Your Home for the Holidays
Why home automation?
It’s simple, really. It’s about making your everyday tasks easier and making the complex simple. Some think home technology is purely luxury. Well, that depends on your definition.
Home automation is exactly that; it automates features in your home. Those features may include your lights, window treatment, smart door locks, climate, garage door, security features and more. It makes them work together as one. Sure, it’s a nice to pull up in front of your home late at night and, right from your phone, be able to activate a welcome scene that lights your path and home’s interior while unlocking the door. But it also helps to keep you safe. And imagine if faced with a fire or medical emergency – first responders could easily identify the home with the flashing entry lights. With this technology available, doesn’t it just make sense?
And let’s consider efficiencies of saving energy, time and money. Imagine occupancy sensors that turn off the lights in an empty room and motorized shades that raise and lower to either take advantage of the sun’s warmth to light and heat your home or block it out when the heat is intense. Lighting control with pre-set scenes of slightly dimmed lights also yield savings, while adding ambiance and convenience.
As a parent, home automation offers peace-of-mind. You can get an alert when your teen makes it home safely or remotely open the door when the need arises. As a caregiver, simple automated features, accessed by voice control, can keep an aging loved one in their home longer while sensors can let you know if they’re out of bed and have opened the medicine cabinet.
In this fast-paced world, why not simplify where it makes sense and make your everyday a little easier? Free up some time to enjoy the true luxuries, like extra time with friends and family. Call us today and let’s explore how we can make your everyday easy.
The tiny interface that can understand your natural language and connect your whole home
You’ve automated your entire home. Your new, smarter home—outfitted by your professional technologies integrator—is complete with all of the control systems necessary to keep your home in check. But how do you plan to keep it all connected?
Meet your home’s new interface, Josh. Josh.ai is a luxury voice control system, designed to work with your professionally-installed home automation. Leading the industry in Natural Language Processing and complete with machine-learning to adapt to you and your preferences, Josh is easy to use. When properly installed by a professional integrator, Josh ensures the best home automation experience.
Josh.ai is “artificial intelligence as unique as the home it runs,” and serves as a whole-home processor, connecting with all of the devices in your network, from pre-existing control systems like Crestron and Lutron. The interface, designed to fit the aesthetic of any room, can go anywhere and do anything you want in your home. Its touch-sensitive surface works to control event triggers like mood lighting or volume control — a feature only outdone by its intelligent voice control and ability to understand natural language.
Josh can help you control the temperature, humidity and lighting in your home to make your home even smarter. Its sensors can tell which room you’re in and can adapt its functions using its contextual awareness. Josh allows you to make your home automation smarter, without even needing to physically interact with it.
If you’re serious about automating your home and making your professional installation work for you, Josh could be the “holistic interface” you need.
The Integration of home automation and healthcare is life-changing
We’re just beginning to realize the extensive benefits of home automation. For years, we’ve recognized the luxuries, conveniences, comforts and safety aspects of an integrated home, but we’re learning that those attributes are just the tip of the iceberg. Today’s smart home can aid the disabled, monitor the ill and enable our Vancouver residents the opportunity to stay in their homes longer.
It wasn’t so long ago that baby monitors hit the market. We could breathe a sigh relief while carrying the walkie-talkie-like device around from room to room. And then…baby cams were introduced and suddenly we could watch over them day and night. Flash forward and now we can check in on our homes via our smart phones anytime and from anywhere. We appreciate the convenience and peace of mind that brings in terms of home security or even keeping watch of our pets, but imagine the comfort of being able to watch over an elderly parent.
Modern healthcare is finding new, innovative ways to capitalize on our connected homes, allowing people to remain in comfortable, familiar surroundings longer. Automated, simple-to-use devices can remind an elderly person to take their medication or instruct an autistic individual how to prepare a meal. Caregivers can be alerted when an Alzheimer patient opens a door or when a diabetic’s glucose monitor sounds. For an added measure of security, automated lighting can be triggered as well so that, in the event an audible alarm is missed, visual cues will wake the caregiver while lighting the way to their loved one. Visual prompts can also be life-enhancing for the hearing impaired and elderly.
Voice and “Stress” Control
The more recent introduction of integrated voice control has opened up a whole new realm in home healthcare. Individuals that may otherwise be unable to physically or mentally operate a touch panel or control device can now gain control of appliances, entertainment and security devices, affording them independence.
Home automation and, more specifically, voice-controlled devices also have a positive impact on our mental health. Multiple medical studies from various academics from Rutgers, Stanford, and University British Columbia have concluded that individuals who feel a greater sense of environmental control demonstrate increased persistence, motivation, and optimism, and have been shown to have lower risk for psychopathology. That research extends to a homeowner’s ability to be “in control” of their smart home, accessing features that reduce worry and, therefore, stress levels.
The life-saving stories are many and we can each likely envision a scenario where remote monitoring, automated lighting, cameras, door locks and voice control can make ours and our family’s life easier, healthier and more gratifying. Innovative technologies continue to transform our lives. Home automation, once considered purely a luxury, has become a wonderful, life-changing tool and essential part of our daily lives. Healthcare, along with our homes, just gets smarter and smarter.
Health Care in Home Automation Systems with Speech Recognition and Mobile Technology, American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)
Digital Doctors: Home Automation is Redefining Healthcare, Collective Evolution
5 ways tech is changing retirement, Ameriprise Advisors
Alexa, open the shades. Alexa, play music. Alexa, ask fitbit what my resting heart rate is. Ahhhhh.
How smart is your smarthome? Can it order a pizza? If Alexa were your virtual assistant it could! Now THAT’s a SMARTHOME! Alexa lives in the cloud and is automatically updated. She comes with Echo, a far-field enabled device that activates upon hearing a “wake word”. Echo also happens to be a 360° omni-directional speaker. Ok, it’s not whole-house audiophile quality, but it’s a pretty cool way to stream your favorites through a portable device.
So why do we, a systems integrator, love it? We love simplified solutions and Alexa makes control of your home’s systems even easier. She’s compatible with your Crestron home automation system, with Lutron Shades and more. And while all that is convenient, there’s a key life-safety feature not to be ignored. Imagine the peace of mind of having Alexa for those “aging in place” with limited mobility. Voice-activated technology can restore freedom and grant a measure of security.
Alexa, close the shades. Alexa, what’s my heart rate now?