I’ve Never Appreciated Smart Home Devices More Than I Do Right Now

published Mar 26, 2020
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My apartment may only be 520 square feet, but I currently have three smart home speakers set up: one on my desk in the living area, one on my bedroom nightstand, and one in my bathroom. While it might sound a little overboard, there are good reasons to have a device in every room, especially when we’re all hyper aware of everything we touch.

I initially got an Echo Spot as a cute bedside clock that could also tell me the weather and play me some early ’00s pop on command—you know, the basics. Then one evening as I did my nightly routine of climbing behind the couch to unplug a lamp and then groped in the dark to switch on my bedroom light, I realized that my vintage lighting problem and bad outlet placement could be solved easily with some smart plugs. (The ones I have work with Google Home and Alexa, but they also come with their own app if you’d rather be smart speaker-free.)

It’s super helpful to turn on my lights either by voice or my phone, not only because I’m not running the nightly furniture hurdles, but also because it means that there are fewer “high touch” surfaces in my place. Now that everything needs to be disinfected on on the rare occasions I leave the house, having fewer spots that need a wipedown is helping me conserve time, effort, and precious Lysol wipes.

I also recently started using IFTTT (if this, then that) recipes, which just makes it feel like you’re living in “The Jetsons.” For example, when I say “Alexa, good morning,” my speaker gives me the weather and then plays my morning playlist on Spotify. “Good evening” turns on two lamps, plus a dimmed, warm light on my ceiling fan. Pretty cool.

Now if only it could make sure I never run out of toilet paper.