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Thread: Smart Home Monitoring Systems

  1. #1
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    Aug 2006
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    Smart Home Monitoring Systems

    I may have drunk the kool-aid and not realized it.

    At my wife's behest, I bought a Ring video doorbell. This may be the "gateway" gadget that leads to a fully blown-out smart home.

    I'm already obliged to buy more, as it turns out the doorbell only rings on your phone. It does not ring in the house - unless you buy another gadget that listens to the doorbell and rings audibly.

    Next on the list is going to be a Nest Smart Thermostat. (Don't know why we need a gadget to do this, we don't adjust our thermostat now when we go out or return.)

    And now, apparently, I am going to want a "hub" that connects my various gadgets.

    I hate configuring gadgets. It would be fine if you only had to do it once, and if it were easy, but I think I am all thumbs when it comes to electronics (even though I work in IT). My network printer doesn't network, my Terabyte drive has gone silent, etc.

    Anyway, if I go down this road, I will probably get a few security cameras for the outside, and eventually wire up music around the house. Turns out, I can't even review any security videos unless I subscribe to a monthly service to store them in the cloud.

    I have no idea how to start into this world. I'm learning about Google and Alexa and stuff from a friend. I am concerned about committing to a technology (such as Ring) only to discover it's not compatible with other stuff. My friend assures me that - even though it's a la carte (anything you want, you buy individually) they are all pretty good at interoperating.

    Maybe my Geek Squad membership at my local Best Buy can lay out the components for me.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 2018-Oct-08 at 12:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    HACKER'S DELIGHT, YOUTUBE'S REGRET

    Or, Big Brother Gets Invited In The Front Door

    Personally, I cover the camera on my phone when I'm getting dressed. That indicator light can be cut off by software.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
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    Jul 2005
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    Got our central heating on a hub that we can control via the internet. When we're away during the winter, I do like being able to fire up the heating the day before (big stone house, long time constant), and turn on the hot water as we collect our luggage at the airport.
    Then again, I love configuring gadgets.

    Wouldn't give Alexa and her idiot cousins houseroom, though.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  4. #4
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    We have a chromecast, a google home and two internet controlled lights. The next item will be a nest or something similar. Everything works through all five of our phones and thanks to the Google Home integration, you can ask Google about things in the house: Are the lights on, is the wifi on, send a broadcast to everyone at home - by room if needed.

    On an amusing aside, a teacher asked us to take a picture of where we write. So I took a picture of my desk. A few weeks later, my wife asked where some paperwork was. I remembered it was on my desk, so I sent my wife that picture I used for class, with the location of the paperwork circled. She thought I had a web camera in the basement. It would be an odd thing if I did, the only thing it would see is an empty chair or the back of my head.
    Solfe

  5. #5
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    My family has had "personal" info hacked several too many times for me to think that our privacy remains private. Not counting corporate meta-data and Uber-style locating spells. If I take a photo I assume it's being shared with the Internet.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Next on the list is going to be a Nest Smart Thermostat.
    My brother has a Nest security system, with several cameras around the entranceways. He can call up the cameras on his phone and view them real time. He's got a cloud subscription where all the footage is saved for a month, so you can look back through the last month. Might be a little pricey, I don't know. I know some systems incorporate motion sensors that will notify your phone when they're set off. I'm looking into such systems, too, for our remote place up in the Idaho panhandle (ETA: see below). It'll need wifi, of course, and so also power. Might need a battery backup.... I'm not so much into the whole hub scene, although as you say, that might be out there in the future....

    trp438.jpg

    (Just up the hill from Lake Pend Oreille....)

    hhs483.jpg
    Last edited by Cougar; 2018-Oct-08 at 03:27 AM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  7. #7
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    My phone is the only thing in my universe that can drive me into a violent rage in 3 seconds flat. I once tore a phone clean in half.

    So I'm not really big on controlling everything from my phone.


    But I might like the voice control.

  8. #8
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    Old fashioned here, prefer to do things by hand rather than by finger.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    eventually wire up music around the house.
    Wireless home-audio speaker systems are readily available.

    Two "well known" systems are Sonos and Heos. Sonos is "standalone" while Heos is integrated into A/V devices made by Denon and Marantz.
    Selden

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