Technology moves so fast, and very soon the age of 5G will not just be upon big cities, but every home across the country.
What is 5G? Without getting too technical, it is a key player in what our connected lives will look like in the future, as we explained in our recent article 5G Explained. Internet speeds will improve, making advanced technology such as mobile devices quicker, more responsive and capable of doing so much more. We conduct much of our lives through a handheld device right now, from communication to controlling our homes.
One aspect of technology that is also changing lives across the US is the smart home. From security to lighting, sustainability to leisure, our homes are becoming increasingly automated and functional. The actual benefits of 5G within a smart home environment are tangible, although the 5G breakdown on CNET confirms it may lead to homes choosing not to have a centralized internet connection. Whether 5G will change the face of the smart home or not is still very much up for debate, but one thing is for sure – the smart home is here to stay.
Every smart home starts with a smart assistant, a smart speaker with which you can communicate and control other devices. Whilst out of the home, your 5G connected mobile device will be your hub, but once you are back in your house, you should turn to a smart speaker or smart assistant. The choice of smart assistants is wide-ranging, as the selection of home electronics on ecommerce platform Adorama demonstrates. There are brands many will recognize, such as Google Nest Hub, as well as some that are seemingly exclusive to the smart speaker market, such as Sonos. It might be confusing for someone starting out implementing a smart home, so where does one begin? We have selected three great smart speakers to get you started on your smart home journey or help you upgrade your existing tech.
Sonos might not be the go-to name in the smart speaker market right now, but it should be. The Sonos One is a great sounding smart speaker, so when you want to play your music, you will get a crystal clear sound. Remember, a smart speaker is so much more than just an audio device though, and the Sonos One comes loaded with the best of both Google Assistant and Alexa. The Sonos one can even talk to Siri and form a multi-room pairing with an Apple pod. That is real connectivity for you right there.
Whilst Alexa is very much the smart assistant of choice for many households, the spherical Amazon Echo is the latest vehicle by which you can find her in your home. This model is a complete overhaul of the original, with a faster processor, a built-in Zigbee smart home hub and improved audio. It still is not quite as meaty in terms of bass and volume as some of the others on the market, but if your music still comes through a stereo and you are hunting a robust and swift home assistant only, then you will find one in the Echo.
The Apple HomePod may have been discontinued, but it is still one of the best assistants out there and if you can, bagging a bargain by picking one up cheap would be a wise move. It is not being produced anymore, but that does not mean there will be no support, so it is not the end of life for the product. That is good for consumers, especially die-hard Apple fans who will find their iPhone or Mac plays nicely with their assistant. Remember the saying about Apple products – ‘it just works’, and that is certainly the case with the HomePod, even if it is not being produced anymore.