If you’re thinking about investing some of your hard-earned money into making your life more convenient with smart home technology, your first step is to do your research. Technology should never be an impulse buy. Here are three ways for you to research smart home technology before you make a purchase:
If you’re reading this, you’re already off to a great start. Check out blogs, tech sites, video reviews, news coverage and anything else you can find online about smart home technology and the products that you are considering. Chance are that if you have a specific question about smart home technology, someone else has had the same question and started a forum feed about it.
While the Internet is a great place to start, you can’t believe everything you find online. Another great option is to head to retailers to get their take on the technology. I recommend that you go to several stores and talk to several people about the products you want. If you don’t want to go to a ton of stores, try engaging in a chat session with a customer service representative. See if they say similar things or drastically different things. Ask if the products get a lot of returns. Tap into their knowledge to help you get more insight on the things that you read online.
Another great place to do research is through the brand itself. Find out if the products you want have additional information available on the brand’s website. You can read more about available guarantees and warranties as well. Find out if there is contact information, and use it to reach out to the brand directly to ask more about the product and why you should purchase it over another product.
When you are using those sources, here are three main focus areas for your research:
1. Price. This one is pretty obvious, and it is going to be one of the main make or break features of a product. Most smart home technology is fairly affordable, but the initial set up can be an investment.
2. Performance. Don’t rest on the price though. There are a few other things you should consider, since they always say that “you get what you pay for.” Check to see how the products you are interested in rank in reviews, privacy and security. Even if these issues don’t seem important to you now, they need to be something you gather information on.
3. Compatibility. If you want to use your smart home technology with your phone, tablet, or other devices – like the Amazon Echo and Google Home – then you should confirm compatibility ahead of time. Getting products that don’t work with your existing devices is a pretty bad way to start your adventure in building your smart home.
What’s one thing that you wish you knew about smart home technology before you purchased your devices?