Chapter 11

Uncovering Some Smarter Smart-Home Techniques


Bullet Clumping devices together into groups

Bullet Combining Echo devices into a speaker set

Bullet Convincing Alexa to play music in multiple rooms

Bullet Automating smart-home chores with routines and applets

When I first starting playing around with home automation in the early 2000s, the state of the art was woeful. Few standards existed, companies used proprietary technologies, the connections were spotty, and the control interfaces (Windows only, of course) were mind-numbingly complicated. So you can’t imagine my glee these days when I insert a Wi-Fi Simple Setup plug or a Zigbee light bulb and it’s connected, configured, and ready to command within a few seconds.

Today’s smart-home stuff still has its complications, as I describe in Chapter 10, but the trend is toward faster and easier discovery and connection. So, if your smart home Jones is satisfied with plugging in a few gadgets and controlling them through your Alexa device, I for one will not judge. However, there are still quite a few techniques you can learn to improve ...

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