A few years back we published a short series called, Computer Advice by Moises which broke down terms that most weren’t very familiar with. The series was very successful, so we decided to bring it back! A few years ago, Moises Alberto Milford used to work as the Altos de Chavón School of Design’s Computer Lab Technician. After two years he decided to work for himself and with the help and support of well-known villa owners such as Phyllis Berney, Judy Fleishman and Fatima Renedo, he quickly became a conversation topic at many Casa de Campo dinner tables.
Technology is here to stay and this is why every two weeks we will post an article, written by Moises, which will help you deal with this growing monster called the Tech World!!
In the last article we shared the basic foundation of a smart home. Now we’ll go a bit more in depth and introduce you to smart hubs which for the remaining of this article we will refer to only as hubs. I am sure you are now asking yourself, what can a hub do for me? With the correct combination of devices, a hub will enable you to:
- Take total control of your home lights, turn them on and off with your voice or remotely from any where in the world, have them change color or dimmed for special occasions.
- Replace all the remotes of your tv home theater and with just one device, control all of your electronic devices. It will give you the option to talk to your tv, yes talk to it.
- You and your guests will have all the music in the world available just by asking for it.
The list can go on and on, however we want to take the advice of many of our Casa residents and keep it simple. Amazon, Google, and Apple all have great options for hubs that will make your house a smarter one. For now, we’ll focus on Amazon’s Echo.
When you google echo or if you go to amazon.com you’ll probably see more than one product, we would say that one of the best one to start your smart home is the echo plus. By itself it is a wireless speaker that can access the web and play music from thousands of artists, its library is so vast that we are sure you will be able to find different albums of your favourite one there too. It will play all day every day if you let it. The echo will also remind you to take your medicine, to go to your appointments, to call Judy on her birthday, it is also capable of helping you make your shopping or to-do lists, it can very well become your personal assistant. Have a question about any general subject? The echo dot can answer. Another feature and a very important one for those of us who live in the D.R. but have family members in the U.S, Puerto Rico or Canada, the echo has the ability to make and receive phone calls (“echo calls” technically speaking) for free. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with a short tutorial on how to get this done.
The echo plus has the ability to interact with many smart electronic devices around your home as well. One that stands out is the interaction with smart bulbs. With your voice commands you’ll be turning on and off your lights or dimming them to 10% for a quiet evening of relaxing music while you fall asleep. The echo will then later turn off everything after you are sleeping like a baby.
The echo comes in different sizes and prices, for your first echo we recommend the echo plus at $149.99 on amazon.com. It is required that you have an amazon account to use it, this is free, and of course a WiFi connection to the internet.
Until next time!