Today, we find ourselves living around technology that is always adapting to our busy on-the-go lifestyles. We want products that make daily life more functional and easier to perform. With this in mind, the invention of home hubs has produced a core device that allows a variety of smart devices to work with one another.
So whether you want to adjust the thermostat, turn a lamp light on or off or remotely program a smart coffee maker (or other appliance), you can do so with the use of a home hub—these transform an ordinary home into a smart one.
Of the different hubs available on the market, these are the top 3 performers:
1. Amazon Echo Plus
The Amazon Echo Plus is an updated, glorified version of the standard Echo, in the sense that it provides more functions. It’s a Zigbee smart home hub that allows users to sync to other Zigbee compatible devices—and there are many. These Zigbee compatible devices can do anything from lock/unlock doors, adjust the thermostat, turn lights on/off, open/close garage doors and turn TVs on/off as well as other appliances.
The Echo Plus comes equipped with Amazon’s standard voice communicator, Alexa, which allows users to perform many different hands-free voice commands. Ask questions, play music (has 360° audio with Dolby processing), get news/sports updates, etc. and the Echo Plus has the ability to do so.
2. Google Home
Google Home gives Amazon’s line up of smart devices a run for their money. Directly competing with the Echo Plus, Google Home is exactly as it sounds—Google’s own home hub device. Like Amazon Alexa, Google features a Google voice assistant of their own, which allows different compatible smart devices to be paired and used for a range of hands-free voice functions and commands. Products, much so the same that are compatible with the Echo are compatible with Google Home—such as Nest Learning Thermostat, Philips Hue WeMo smart plugs and others.
In addition, Google Home also has the ability to send push notifications on your smartphone, letting you know about traffic, news and sports updates. This feature comes particularly handy for those who commute to and from work.
- Wink Hub 2
To be honest, the Wink Hub 2 is often thought of as second thought—falling behind both the Amazon Echo Plus and Google Home. However, it’s not a lesser device—just not as well known. This second-generation product likewise syncs to a variety of smart devices, creating a central hub where they can all be accessed and used. Unique to the Wink Hub 2 are its variety of ways that it can become connected to any home. It can be connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even Ethernet (surprisingly). Look to the Wink Hub 2 for many of the same capabilities as the Echo Plus and Google Home—thermostat control, light control, appliance control, etc.
Which home hub is right for your home? These will perform many of the same functions, however the compatible devices that they support may differ. Each home hub will have a different interface, so you’ll have to figure out which one is right for your own personal style. Some of these may even support home security systems—another useful feature that will benefit anyone looking for additional home security protection for renters and homeowners alike.