Smart home products make great holiday gifts; they are pretty affordable, very popular, and appeal to people of all ages. If you opened a gift this holiday season and found a smart home device, you might be wondering: now what? Here are a few basic next steps that can help you on your smart home adventure.
Read the manual.
These days, many products opt to include a quick reference and set up guide, and direct you to a website for additional information on the product. Whether you get a printed instruction booklet or have to go online to access one, I highly recommend that you take the time to review the instructions and familiarize yourself with the product. Sure, you can likely set up and operate your new toy without doing this, but you’ll be missing out on a lot. I always learn something new when I take the time to read the manual for a product.
Visit the product landing page.
Even if you’ve read the manual, the product’s landing page can help you get a better idea of how the product works. Product pages use multimedia and can be interactive, which is something that you can’t find in a written manual. Seeing the product in action and watching videos about how it is made and how to set it up can add a lot of value to your experience. This will also help you find out what other products will work well with yours, in case you are going to expand your smart home network.
Read and watch online reviews.
Sure, you aren’t trying to decide if you are going to purchase something or not but online reviews can still help you gain some insight on your new product. Learn about what issue others had, and how they fixed them. Video reviews are great, and can range from everything to unboxing and set up, to a walkthrough of troubleshooting. There might be a lot of nonsense reviews are there, but if you can find a few good gems, you can really get some great information that can help you out.
Ask friends and family about their experiences.
Strangers can certainly help, but it’s not as easy to ask them direct questions about their experiences and your concerns. If you directly know anyone that has used the product that you received, ask them if you can spend some time together discussing their experience. Find out what they wish they had known before they set their product up, and how it is most useful in their smart home.
Set it up and start using it yourself.
Of course, the most logical next step is to just start using your product. You can certainly unbox it and set it up right away, then do the rest of the tips as part of your learning journey with your smart home. There’s no real reason to wait to start your smart home experience!