Just a quick post as I have not had that much time to put into the blog. 

When I first had a taste of a smart connected device I suppose it would of been the Chromecast I already had a FireTV and other digital tv boxes but never really thought of them as smart, sure the FireTV remote had alexa but i found little use for that 3 years ago.

So I had the chromecast, it was cool how you could cast to it off your phone tablet or pc. But honestly it was not that easy to use that was until I got my first smart speaker a Google Home mini.

This is where the chromecast came alive! Before I knew it i had a google home in every room! Beyond just controlling the chromecast we use the google home morning day and night. In the morning from waking up with an alarm through to checking up on traffic, news and weather. In the day to listen to my podcasts or spotify and in the evening to control the lights or the TV.

Recently Netatmo brought google assistant integration it their security cameras both indoor and outdoor on the chromecast or control the outdoor lights on it.

Further picking up some smart plug and lights made the virtual assistant even more useful.

More recently i started messing around with IFTTT, Stringify and other integrations to my smart devices.

It started when I connected my Netatmo weather station to IFTTT and realised it could trigger actions based off its air quality and humidity reading.

This got me thinking, at the time I was wanting to reduce the electricity consumption of the house. One thing that bugged me was that the central extractor system was always running all day and night, it was never installed to turn on at a specific humidity or air quality level.

So I disconnected its continuous power supply and put a smart plug in the middle linked this up to IFTTT, Netatmo Weather station indoor module and the smart plugs the extractor fan now runs of about 2-4 hours a day rather than 24 so its a significant power saving as it consumes 80 watts while its on which would be about 113 GBP. After monitoring the houses air quality it has not suffered from it being on all the time and will also help keep the house warmer.

IOT and smart home devices are initially just cool and a bit useful, but when you can use them to to help you save money and be truly useful you start to really appreciate and rely on them.

At the moment I want to get some smart light switches and roller blind switches, for the lights but I am being very careful on choosing the technology at the moment as there are alot of  different choices, non of them are that expensive but its alot to throw them away if the technology is no longer supported or not actually that good.