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All you need to make your home smarter, and your life easier.

by Google.
by Google.

Some people are afraid of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) continually getting recognized as something that is good and useful for humankind. AI was the most prominent tech #keyword phrase of 2k17 while Mark Zuckerberg was creating his own AI assistant called Jarvis and is still rolling in 2k18. We all watched iRobot movie scene where granny Gigi (Adrian Ricard) won the lottery and is bragging to Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) how she and the robot cooked like crazy all morning, and then comes the scene where the robot is chopping cucumbers lightning fast and giving the weird and scary look to Del while doing it.

But don't worry, this text will not scare you like that, or debate if continually development of Artificial Intelligence is a potential danger or not. Here we will talk about small robotic devices that have their own AI and can actually change your life and make it easier and more enjoyable.

Let's start with smartphones. Today, they are an essential part of us; everyone needs a smartphone whether they like it or not. It gives us the possibility to talk with people that are half a world away from us (thanks to Nikola Tesla), we can use it to light our room in the night, so we don't hit our pinky toe to the edge of our bed *Ouch! We use it to talk, share photos, record videos, play games and so much more. The constant development of smartphones has brought us to the moment where we can control our whole house/apartment with just one click via our smartphone.

So how do you get started?

The first thing you will need is a Voice Assistant. Yes, it can be a bit scary in the beginning, but once you get used to it, you will love it and all the options that come with it. We tried the Google - Home Mini. You can get this for starting from $49,00 at your local tech store or via Amazon or BestBuy. Google - Home Mini is a smart speaker with Google assistant that can answer your questions about weather, news, sports and more. For example, you can ask: Hey Google, do i need an umbrella tomorrow? or Hey Google, please play some Rock AC/DC music. It runs with Wi-Fi, the search engine is Google, and it can work on Android or Apple iOS.

An example of Google - Home Mini device. — by Google.
An example of Google - Home Mini device. — by Google.

Next thing you will need is a Hub (bridge). You will need a Hub so it can connect to your router and allow everything to talk together. One good choice is the Philips Hue starter kit that is around $69,00 and comes with two + light bulbs and a bridge (Hub). This offers you to control lights at your home remotely wherever you are. You can check if you forgot to turn them off when you left home or just switch them off when you want, change the light % and brightness, or set timers when they go on or off. Also, one of the most significant benefits is that they work great with Google - Home Mini so you can control your lights with your voice.

As a third thing, we suggest a smart speaker. We believe everyone has at least one speaker in their house but if you buy Chromecast Audio for around $35,00 and make your old speaker do so much more (connect via Aux). For example, you can ask Google - Home Mini to play some song you like, and it will connect with Chromecast Audio and play the song you requested, you can also ask it to play only on left or right speaker. Of course, you can control this via your smartphone or your voice. This can especially come in handy when you have a romantic dinner and want to surprise your better half with some romantic/sensual music without losing any time.

An example of Chromecast Audio device. — by Google.
An example of Chromecast Audio device. — by Google.

The last thing you will need is a smart plug. You can find tp-link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini 2-Pack for around $45,00 at your local tech store or on Amazon or BestBuy, or of course on their official website. This smart plug works great with Google - Home Mini Assistant and via it, you can manage your devices through Voice Control or your smartphone to schedule when your TV will turn off, or you can start your AC just half an hour before you come back from work. Mainly it offers you the benefit of turning electrical power ON/OFF to your devices, electronics, etc. You can have the smart plug work for you are on vacation. Just order it to turn the lights on or off a few times a day, so it gives the appearance that someone is at home.

So there you have it, excellent and yet cheap devices that can save you time and mostly, ease up your life and make it more enjoyable. You can get all of these devices for below $250, and our advice would be to buy one thing at a time. Buy it, try it, experiment with it and then jump to the next thing so you can see what works for you and what not.

Good luck and have fun!

This article was originally published on @vaske