Amazon took the smart home industry by storm and it all started in 2014 with the Amazon Echo. The Echo was initially designed as a “simple” smart speaker. However, the basic nature of the Echo as a smart speaker was short lived due to Alexa. The addition of Alexa changed the smart home game forever. Alexa made the Amazon Echo the gold standard for smart home devices.  Furthermore, it is safe to say that Amazon struck it rich with Alexa as the hub for the Amazon smart home ecosystem. Here is a more in depth look into the history of Amazon’s Echo.

There are an endless number of devices and ways in which to integrate Alexa into your daily routine. There are 15 main categories of Alexa enabled devices. These categories range from smart lighting, to smart locks, to smart thermostats for instance. The following is an overview of all the ways you can create an Amazon smart home.

Amazon Echo

The 2nd generation Amazon Echo is the heart and soul of any Amazon smart home and is available in two variations: the standard Echo and the Echo Plus. The standard Echo is a smart speaker featuring Alexa. Whereas the Echo Plus adds the ability to unify smart home devices from various manufacturers via a single device. So that being said, you’ll want to go with the Echo Plus if you want to use it to anchor your smart home ecosystem. Here is a more in-depth comparison of the Echo and Echo Plus.

Amazon Satellite Devices

Echo Dot

The Echo dot is the most common addition to most every Amazon Smart Home system. The dot serves the same purpose as a standard Echo, except it doesn’t have the full range of speakers. However, it gets the job done when it comes to controlling smart devices throughout your home. It is also a great asset in terms of the drop-in communication feature that is a hallmark of the Amazon family of smart devices. It is important to note that the Echo Dot does not function as a smart home hub.

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    Echo Show

    The Echo Show is basically an Echo Dot with an awesome 10.1″ 5.5″ smart display to help you manage your day. It also sports a crisp front facing camera for video Skype calls. Furthermore, it is a great source of entertainment, as well as an effective method of communication with family and friends. The visual component of the Echo Show is extremely helpful when it comes to watching how-to and cooking instructional videos! It is important to note that the Echo Show does not function as a smart home hub.

    Echo Spot

    Like the Echo Show, the Echo Spot boasts an impressive 2.5″ screen and a front facing camera. It is designed to fit anywhere in your home and is easily accessible with its 2nd generation far-field voice recognition.

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      Amazon Smart Home Devices

      Picture this – you walk into your home after an evening trip to the grocery store. Both hands are occupied with bags of groceries from your recent venture to the store. The last thing you want to do is put them down, only to have to pick them up again…and repeat this process a number of times. This burdensome task could become a thing of the past thanks to a handful of Alexa enabled smart devices.

      Smart Lights

      The first step in returning from the grocery store is turning the lights on. You’ll want to equip your home your entry way with a motion sensor and a few outdoor lights. We’ve provide a few ideas below for your consideration.

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          Again, imagine that your arms are filled with groceries. Wouldn’t it be great if your walk way and front porch were already illuminated? What makes the motion sensor and light combo even better is that you can also have your front hall lights turn on as you walk up to your front door. Now this isn’t necessary during the day in most cases. You can set your motion sensor to not trigger your lights during the day, or any specific time period of your choosing.

          Smart Locks

          The next phase in your return home from the grocery store is the front door. Instead of fumbling around for your keys, imagine if you could unlock your front door via your phone. Many smart locks are capable of doing just that via their bluetooth connection to the lock. You don’t even need to take your phone out of your pocket! Pretty nifty, ‘eh?

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            Smart Thermostat

            Now that you’re back home, you’ll want to adjust your thermostat to the ideal indoor temperature…but wait, it’s already set to the perfect temperature! How could this be? Simple. Most smart thermostats are equipped with a geo-fencing feature. This means that when you leave your home the temperature will either increase or decrease so that your not wasting energy heating or cooling your home when you’re not there. What makes this even sweeter is that you can set up your thermostat to start heating or cooling your home just before you arrive so that your either warm and cozy or cool as a cucumber the moment you step foot in your home.

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              Amazon Smart Home Video Surveillance

              Amazon Smart Home Security Cameras

              As is true with most technology,  smart security cameras are a double-edged sword. There are many benefits to innovative technology and the associated upgrades. However they can also be troublesome. There is little room for argument about whether or not the advantages outweigh the disadvantages…because, well, there are far more advantages.

              1. Deter Crime

              This is quite possibly the most obvious advantage of arming your home with security cameras. Once they are in place, you will have the benefit of seeing (and recording) everything within their line of sight. Even if they are located in discreet locations, you will still have a greater sense of security, which is without question a priceless experience.

              2. Aide the Police

              If a burglary does occur, your security cameras will provide local law enforcement with HD evidence of the incident. Police can then use these video recordings and images to apprehend the culprit. Furthermore, said recordings and images can help prevent future crimes and in some cases even recover your stolen goods.

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                3. Check in on Your Family

                Security cameras are designed to do more than simply protect your home. They also allow you to check in on your kids while you’re at work. May times families with two working parents are unable to be home when their children come home from school in the mid-afternoon. With a standard home security camera, parents can check to make sure their children arrive home safely and are behaving themselves remotely via their phone or other mobile device.

                4. Keep an Eye on Your Pets!

                Just as you can check in on your kids using the camera system, you can check on your pets too. Pets are a big part of many peoples’ lives and it can be stressful to leave them home alone, and expensive to pay someone to look after them. With a professionally installed home security camera system, you can check in on how your pets are doing from work.

                5. Insurance Benefits

                After a burglary, you’re required to make an insurance claim due to vandalism or theft. This is where your high-definition security camera comes into play. With the footage, you can easily document the incident and validate your insurance claim. Also, a security system can typically lead to discounts on home security of up to 20%.

                Video Doorbells

                In our modern era, the population is on the rise and the majority have a larger amount of disposable income.  Sadly, crime rates are also on the rise. This increase in disposable income and crime is a major concern for many. One needs to protect their house from the threat of burglary and other kinds of theft. Therefore, it makes sense that one must also arm their property with a professionally monitored home security system.

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                  One such way to enhance your home security is to install a video doorbell. Here are a number of reason you should invest in a video doorbell. Especially if you’re asking yourself, “why would I want a video doorbell?”
                  See whats on the Other Side

                  Security of a premise can be compromised if someone opens the door without knowing what is there on the other side. If you can see who is there on the other side, then you can decide whether to open the door or not. Video doorbell allows you to do so. Through this device, you can easily see the person, who is standing outside. If it is a stranger, then you can have a conversation with him / her. In this way, the security of your house will never be compromised.

                  Night Vision Capabilities

                  Of course, it is a problem for an individual to visualize anything or anyone in the darkness. Anybody can take the advantage of this kind of situation, and perform the criminal acts, like burglary. Now, when the video doorbell is in place, you will never have to encounter such a situation. This device is powered by a camera, which is run infrared technology. One of the major advantages of this particular technology is that this will allow you to look at the unknown objects or people quite clearly, even in the darkness of night.

                  Relax & Monitor

                  If there is a knock at your door, it is quite obvious that you have to move to the gate to see who is on the other side. It is possible that you might be engaged in some serious activity, which you do not want to be interrupted, like talking over your phone, or watching an interview on the television. One of the major video doorbell benefits is that you will not need to leave your seat and go to the door to check out. You can easily do that by sitting on the same place, and by just pressing the monitoring key, you can check who is outside, and unlock the door.

                  Easy to Install & Use

                  When people talk about security devices, it is most often assumed that the device will be highly complicated, and it can never be installed by any non-technical person. However, this device acts in contrary to that belief. This device is made on the DIY (do it yourself) principle, and that’s why it is extremely easy to install. You will literally require no technician to install this device at your home. The components are very less and the installation procedure is pretty simple in nature. The installation procedure has been detailed in the back of the cover, and the manual is enough for a non-technical individual to comprehend and carry out accordingly.

                  Don’t Worry About Climate

                  It may be possible that your place of domicile is very cold, or very hot. In most of the cases, it can prove to be extremely harsh for electronic goods to survive in those kinds of extreme climatic condition. One of the major video doorbell benefits is that it can survive in extreme weather conditions. It can survive in the temperatures as low as below minus fifteen degrees and as high as above fifty degrees.

                  Go Smart

                  The smartphone has turned out to be a part and parcel of everyone’s daily life, and people tend to accomplish their daily needs by virtue of the Smartphone applications. Video doorbell has the facility to be controlled by the Smartphone applications. At the same time, it is also enabled with a live recording facility, which is controlled by cloud storage specifications. Therefore, at any point of time, you can check the status of your perimeter even few days back.