Home automation is the Next Big Thing, with companies across the world all developing devices and apps to make our lives easier and free from the mundane. Did you know Google owned smart thermostat company Nest? Or that Apple has developed an entire home automation system? Me neither until now. Here is a quick overview of how to automate your home with your Android phone and Google Voice.
While still in its infancy, home automation offers a viable way to automate your home lighting, adjust the temperature, switch on appliances and monitor alarm systems. Much of it will work with your smartphone too. A range of commercial products are available that turn your Android phone into a home hub. You can either use a buy and fit kit or use something like Arduino and Android and put it together yourself.
Commercial home automation kits
There are a number of home automation kits on the market at a range of price points. Many are modular systems, meaning you can start small and gradually expand the system as you become more familiar with it. We won’t name names here, but a quick search will soon highlight some of the viable kits.
These kits will allow you to control your home from your Android phone using either an app or Google Voice.
DIY home automation kits
More interestingly, there are a number of DIY home automation kits that use a combination of Android, open source code and electronics hardware to deliver the same result. These kits usually require an Arduino board, a Bluetooth module, SPDT relays, some electrical wire and a soldering iron.
These kits usually link to an app that uses Bluetooth to automate many aspects of your home. While it may not have the range of the commercial kits, it’s a lot more satisfying once you get it working!