The world is increasingly becoming a smart place. Even the most dumb objects – like air conditioners and toilet seats — are getting a mind of their own. From using remote controllers to using voice, artificial intelligence and virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are automating everything and making using gadgets almost effortless. While these smart gadgets are designed to make our lives easy-breezy, it is not possible for anyone to replace all the devices in their home with newer and smarter devices.
In case you are wondering why, then let me tell you the list of gadgets you require to automate your home is practically endless. To give you a hint: you need a smart home camera, a smart doorbell, a bunch of smart lights, a smart refridgerators, smart ACs, a bunch of smart speakers or smart displays, a smart routers, a smart TV (in case you don’t have it already) and smart plugs for things that refuse to upgrade your home sweet home to a smart home.
But of course splurging a hefty sum in so many smart (and some not so smart) devices – said no wise man ever. Instead, you can set aside a budget of maximum Rs 15,000 and turn your ordinary room into a smart room. It’s true. You don’t need to automate your entire house. Nor do you need to spend lakhs. All you need is three things and you are good to go. Let’s check out what:
Smart Display: The first thing you need is a smart speaker or a smart display. At present Amazon and Google offer Echo Dot 3G (REVIEW) and Home Mini for Rs 3,999 each. While these smart speakers offer value for money at their price point, you can only do so much using them.
Alternative? The Amazon Echo Show 5 and the Google Nest Hub both of which we reviewed recently. You can pick any one of these two smart displays based on the ecosystem you are closer to. While the Nest Hub costs Rs 9,999, Echo Show 5 costs Rs 8,999. And in case you are wondering which smart display is a better choice for you, you can read our comparison between Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 here.
Smart Light: Next stop is your smart smart light. We all have LED lamp in our homes. They are cheap and quite often they last a lifetime. To turn your room into a smart room, you need to replace your old LED lamp with a new smart malp. Before you jump on to conclusions that they will cost you a fortune, then let me assure you that they don’t. A 7 watt smart light by Wipro and Syska will cost you around Rs 699, while a 9 watt lamp will cost you around 799. You can also buy a smart light by Xiaomi which costs Rs 999 (REVIEW). The best thing about these smart lights is that they work with both – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which means that it doesn’t matter if you pick the Nest Hub or the Echo Show 5, it will work with both. You can change the colour of the lights in your room, you can make it change like a discotheque, you can change the colour temperature of the lights and more importantly, you can do all of that using your voice.
Smart plug: This one will come handy for turning the not so smart things into a smart gadget. For instance, instead of plugging your AC directly into the socket, you can plug the AC in the smart plug and then plug the smart plug into the socket of your room. This will instantly enable you to control your AC using your smart display or your smart assistant. However, this will cost you a lot more than the smart light. While a 10Amp smart plug by Wipro will cost you around Rs 1200, a 16Amp plug will cost you around Rs 2,000. On the other hand, a smartplug by Oakter that works with large appliances like ACs, geysers and water pumps will cost you around Rs 3,500. You can select any one of these based on your requirements.
Once you have all these three device in place, you can turn your boring old room into a smart room controlling everything from music and lights to temperature in your room using your voice in under Rs 15,000. If you decide to buy a smart display instead of a smart speaker, you can stream videos from Amazon Prime Videos and YouTube on your smart display, call your family and friends and ask cook a fancy dinner for yourself and your friends on Friday night. The world is getting smarter. Why should your room be any different?