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The Smart Home Manual: How to Automate Your Home to Keep Your Family Entertained, Comfortable, and Safe

By

Loved it! 😍

A concise, comprehensive guide to enable you to turn your Smart Home dream into reality.

Synopsis

Do you want to make your home smart, but aren't sure where to begin? Are you worried about hackers taking control of your smart devices? Do you want to make a smart home that keeps your family entertained, comfortable, and safe?

When you are done reading The Smart Home Manual you'll know:

-> What a smart home is and what it can do for you
-> How much smart homes cost
-> How to start building your smart home from scratch
-> How to pick the right smart home devices
-> How to plan for the future of the smart home
-> How to secure your smart home

After reading this book, you'll be equipped with all the tools and information you need to plan, design, and implement the smart home you've always wanted.

Sold on a smart home? Dabbling with a plan to turn your house “smart?” If yes, what’s holding you back? Not too sure of the technology involved? Unsure about the time, effort, or cost to budget? Had to shelve your project because of other priorities? Whatever your reason, if you have a dream of making your “ordinary” home smart, The Smart Home Manual by Marlon Buchanan will help you reboot your plan — and get it done! You may be an expert, novice, or even a non-tech person, but so long as you are inclined, this book will see you through to your aim!!


Techies and geeks won’t need any introduction to Smart Homes, I’m sure. However, for the lay-person who still fancies a Smart Home, let me make the smallest introduction that will fit into the scope of a review like this: Dumb + Intelligence = Smart. Your “ordinary” home is “dumb,” because it behaves the same way, regardless of changes in the environment (that require a different response). So, if you switch the porch light on at night and forget to turn it off, it will keep on burning, night and day, until you notice and switch it off! However, if you attach an “intelligent” light sensor to it when daylight is sensed, the sensor will send a command to the switch to go “off,” and off it will! The light sensor added intelligence to the system: if it’s dark, do nothing, but if you sense daylight, switch off the power. That’s intelligence, that when added to a “dumb” porch light, made it smart! The same principle applies to all smart devices.


The book uses a very practical approach. All recommended devices comply with applicable standards like ASHRAE, AHAM, IEEE, FCC, etc. and are compatible with popular voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Similar is the approach to technologies and protocols. Adherence to standards and compatibility with related products ensures you'll always have a safe upgrade path and protection for your investment. No matter at what point you currently are in your plan to transition to a Smart Home, you’ll find a suitable starting point in the book from which you can work forward.


I recommend this book to all who are seriously drawn to Smart Homes and Smart Home technology. It’s more suited to DIY’ers than other readers. It’s ready for the USA, but if you live in a different country, you may have to look for equivalent products/devices that are available/suit your country.

Reviewed by

An engineer and part-time IT Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Part-time copy editor/reviewer. An IEEE Senior Member. Deep thinker and innovator. Highly analytical, clear, accurate, and thorough. Nearly 40 book reviews published to date-20 on Reedsy and 20 on Online BookClub.

Synopsis

Do you want to make your home smart, but aren't sure where to begin? Are you worried about hackers taking control of your smart devices? Do you want to make a smart home that keeps your family entertained, comfortable, and safe?

When you are done reading The Smart Home Manual you'll know:

-> What a smart home is and what it can do for you
-> How much smart homes cost
-> How to start building your smart home from scratch
-> How to pick the right smart home devices
-> How to plan for the future of the smart home
-> How to secure your smart home

After reading this book, you'll be equipped with all the tools and information you need to plan, design, and implement the smart home you've always wanted.

Preface

I’VE WANTED TO MAKE TECHNOLOGY work for me since I was a young child. The advanced technology of TV shows like The Jetsons and Star Trek inspired my interest in gadgets that make home life more entertaining and fulfilling. As a child, the first home automation I ever created was programming the cable box to change the channel to ESPN at 8:00 p.m. every day so I could watch SportsCenter. Not everyone in the house was happy with that programming, but I thought it was great!

My passion for technology remained a constant force in my life. I’ve spent most of my career in technology—working as an IT help desk technician, a software developer, a business systems analyst, and eventually an IT manager. Although I love that IT management allows me to strategically direct the work of others, I really miss the hands-on technical work that I used to do.

I’ve filled that hole by taking on various technical projects around my house. I first started building my smart home around 2006. I spent a lot of time trying to stream media throughout my house. I ended up learning a lot about home networking, cybersecurity, and streaming media devices. I learned the value of automation and remote access to my home as I branched out into installing timers for my outdoor lights, a W-iFi-enabled thermostat, and an Internet-connected home security system.

My smart home projects exploded when we moved into a new home eight years ago. I imagined all sorts of smart home functionality I could add to make our lives more convenient. Ours being a new home, I wanted to do everything right. So I took the time to learn about smart home hubs, smart home protocols, and all the various smart home devices out there, and put together a plan. Piece by piece, I added smart lights, smart plugs, smart switches, smart door locks—the list goes on.

My family was a little hesitant about my projects at first. What if something goes wrong and our lights stop working? What if you hurt yourself installing a smart switch? Overtime, these fears completely disappeared, and now my family has become reliant on our smart home technology and security. They love knowing that lights around the house will come on and turn off at the right times without any intervention. They love being able to turn on lights, TVs, the fireplace, and even the robot vacuum with a simple voice command. They feel safer knowing that we have a 24/7 surveillance system, doors that lock on their own in case we forget to lock them at night, and panic buttons placed around the house that silently send distress messages to loved ones.

I’m very proud that my family can use the features of our smart home without a manual. Everything just works, and I think they take a lot of it for granted now. I’m also proud that even when the Internet connection is down many things continue to work. The worst that happens is that some things operate as they would in a normal home.

I wrote this book because I want others to share in the joy, convenience, and security of a smart home. I want to help people get off to the best start possible in achieving their smart home goals. I hope this book provides you with education and inspiration, eliminating your frustration. Technology has advanced in ease of use to the point where anyone can build a smart home. Now is the time to start building the smart home of your dreams!

About the author

Marlon Buchanan has worked in the IT field for over twenty-five years as a software developer, a college instructor, and an IT Director. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer engineering and master’s degrees in software engineering and business administration. view profile

Published on October 10, 2020

20000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Computers & Internet

Reviewed by

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