For those that are looking to dip into the smart home craze, purchasing a digital smart home assistant is a great start. These devices can work independently, but work best when you pair them with other smart home devices that integrate for voice control. The two main products on the market right now are from Amazon and Google. Amazon offers the Echo – and its little sister, the Echo Dot – and Google offers its Home product. The two products are comparable; which one you choose really depends on which brand you are more loyal to and willing to integrate with.
No matter which digital smart home assistant product you choose, the setup process will be similar – and easy! Here’s a general overview of the steps you’ll need to take to get your new home automation device up and running:
- Plug it in. The first step is an obvious one: plug in your device to give it power. Don’t get so excited to set it up that you just plug it in anywhere; decide where you want it to live all the time, and plug it in there. While Amazon does offer a cordless smart home assistant, the unit’s base will still need to be plugged in for charging. Right now, there is no way to avoid having your smart home assistant attached to the wall.
- Connect to your network. Once your device has power, you’ll need to connect it to your Internet so that it can function. You’ll need to download the app for whichever device you purchased in order to get it setup on your network (and in order to unlock additional features for the device.
- Sign in to your account. Once you have the app, you’ll need to sign in to your account. This step is actually likely to happen concurrently with step #2. You’ll download the app, let it know that you’re setting up a new device, then follow the steps that it walks you through, including signing in to your account. For Amazon, this will allow you to access features like music and playlist, purchase history, and voice purchasing.
- Activate the device’s skills. Your new smart home assistant is going to have skills that can be activated for use. The skills are the heart of your digital device; they allow you to access the features and controls that you want to use for your home.
- Help it learn your voice. In order to get the most out of your device, you simply need to start using it. The term “smart” applies to more than just its ability to control your smart home device, it also applies to the devices ability to learn. Through continued use, your digital home assistant devices will learn your specific voice inflections so that your commands are answered correctly. The Amazon app allows you to submit feedback on whether or not your smart home assistant heard your request correctly, and you can offer a correction for the times it gets it wrong.