🏠Google Home Guests and TP-LInk Smart Homes

Gerard's Smart Home Newsletter

Good morning everybody; hope all is well. Grabbed three smart home stories this week that I thought might be of interest, enjoy and touch base again next Sunday.

Google Guests 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

Privacy is big nowadays, particularly when it comes to smart speakers in our homes. If you own a Google Home smart speaker and not overly enamored with Google collecting your voice commands, then this newly released Guest command could come in really handy! Once enabled in this new mode any interactions you have with your Google speaker or smart display will not be recorded. Great from a privacy perspective, but has a downside, namely Google’s ability to provide you with a completely personalized experience. Furthermore, as the name implies this feature could be used in a post COVID era to enable visitors to interact with smart speakers without Google applying those interactions to your personal Google account. You can check out a blog post over at recode to learn some more tidbits about this new feature.

TP Links Grows its Smart Home

Famous for its networking prowess; TP-Link has decided to extend its existing portfolio of smart devices by launching smart doorbells, smart cameras, and smart light switches at this year’s CES. No specific timelines available, the only info we have at the moment is that they will be ‘dripped’ onto the marketplace throughout 2021. More details about the new smart home devices can be found here.

Smart Switches Get a Boost

Smart bulbs are great but they have one major drawback, they can’t function without power. In other words, once someone switches the manual switch off then your smart bulb becomes really dumb. So the get around this issue, Hue has announced the release of a new piece of hardware called a ‘wall switch module’ that gets installed behind your existing switches. I really, really like this! The O’Driscoll smart home is covered in smart bulbs and the kids are constantly hitting the light switches when going in and out of rooms. This is perfectly normal but is problematic for automations setup to change lighting scenes, etc…

Anyway back to this new hue device, here are some snippets we got from the press release:

  • Only works if you have a Hue bulb installed in the light fixture.
  • Springtime availability for European customers and later in the year for US Hue fans.
  • Installation does require dealing with high voltage cabling.

More details about the in-wall installation can be found on the Hue blog.

Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎤

Turn off thermostat

Thanks for reading. If you have colleagues that would benefit from this, please consider sharing it.

– Gerard

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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