Trying to decide whether to jump on the Alexa bandwagon, given the current #BlackFriday deals, or simply get myself an Apple TV 4th gen or later (replacing an ATV2) and look for deals on HomeKit compatible smart doodas.
So far, I own the grand sum of 1 (one) Meross smart plug, controllable via the proprietary app or the Alexa app, but can see good uses for further plugs and maybe variable-white or static-white bulbs (as long as I can find near 100W equivalents).
Any advice gladly received.
You can control HomeKit devices with the ATV4 when the ATV4 is on. Amazon Echo devices are always on and waiting for commands. Personally, I prefer the latter. But, of course, the ATV4 is a great entertainment hub, better than the Echo. So “Echo or ATV4” is sort of an apples and oranges comparison.
My AppleTV is always on (I never unplug it) so I never have trouble controlling HomeKit. Works great!
I actually enjoy flicking on light switches and setting my thermostadt and making my own coffee. I must be a weirdo.
And on the other side of weirdness, we have five Echos in the house
I sold my old Dot back to Amazon, and now they’re offering me the newest Dot for $18. Sigh. But I could use hands-free multiple timers in the kitchen…
So do I, but there are scenarios in which I would appreciate a helping (virtual) hand:
Arriving loaded with the weekly shop and being able to call out “Turn on the stair light”, then “Stair light off”, once in my kitchen, without having to go back down or risk dropping things as I aim a hip at the top switch in passing.
At 2 AM, being able to turn off remotely the glaring halogen lounge lamp an elderly (and insomniac) relative often forgets and that keeps me awake because it shines through our glass hall doors and into the bedroom (cat needs the door open to visit the bathroom ).
Having the downstairs lounge thermostat raise the temperature to 20°C mid-morning, and/or when it detects first movement, and turn it back down at a set time or when movement is detected, at night, in the elderly relative’s bedroom. This person sometimes sits in a cold lounge because they haven’t thought to turn up the heating, sometimes has it set to 22 or 23°C because their elderly fingers and eyesight cause errors, and sometimes forgets to turn the thermostat down at night on going to bed (or turns it down far too low).
Having my son’s bedroom light turn on at his command, or automatically, when he arrives home late at night. Ditto for the porch light and a small light in the downstairs lounge. This, as opposed to him fumbling around, shining his phone as a torch and, occasionally, being mistaken for a burglar by a sleep-confused dog/ spouse (or both).
Having the Christmas lights turn on at sunset and turn off at a set time, or as part of a “good night” command, rather than leaving them on 24 hrs a day for 3 weeks because scrabbling, twice-daily, between the wall and a 2ft-deep metal filing cupboard (1.9x1.0x0.42m to be exact, so, yes, “cupboard”) to reach the socket isn’t feasible and, anyway, I forget them.
Interesting list. Still not compelling to me. (shrug)
At this point, I wouldn’t allow an Amazon or Google always-listening device in our home. I can appreciate their utility, but to date, only Apple has convinced me that they actually take our privacy seriously.
Amazon and Google (admittedly Apple as well) devices are a software & terms of service update away from renting/selling/exchanging/giving data to “better serve you” to others.
Homekit works well enough for me.
The impetus for my current home automation project is the fact that the living room in my new apartment has no built-in lighting and no switched outlets. I just took advantage of their Black Friday sale to order a bunch of Hue products so I can put together a one-button lighting setup.