Smart Homes, Or Invaders?

Source: 123rf
Image ID : 106747142
Copyright : Daniil Peshkov

 

How many of you have jumped on board the smart home wagon?  I have to admit that I have tiptoed through setting up my home with smart home devices, starting with two Roku Ultra units I purchased last fall after breaking up with Spectrum Cable.  It hasn’t been completely seamless, and I already had a Roku remote stop working after only 5 months, but overall, I have gotten accustomed to watching shows on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

My next step was setting up a Wyze Camera which I had received as a Christmas gift.  I figured it would be a good way to watch my cats while I was away, and also ensure that no unwelcome guests were lurking in my bedroom. What I did not expect was that the camera would randomly scan the room when I wasn’t using the app, and after a couple of unnerving scans, I unplugged the thing and haven’t used it since.

Then I really took the plunge this past July, when I set up two Google Nests and several TP-Link Smart Plugs.  I decided to plug in certain key lamps and three humidifiers, and programmed some of them to turn on and off at specified times.  I have to admit that I love the convenience, and if I need to override the automated settings, I am able to do so easily simply by telling Google to perform a certain action.

If you are considering setting up your home with smart devices, make sure that you have a strong internet connection and a high quality internet router, or you will not be able to successfully connect your devices.  The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to setting up devices in your home, and it can get pretty expensive.  But the automation which you can establish in your home is pretty impressive.

Source: 123rf
Image ID : 132883048
Copyright : Lacey Barton

 

I honestly dig the convenience of asking Google for the current weather, and I also love being able to start Spotify or SiriusXM on the Google Nest, so that I can have music playing in the background throughout the day.  But there is a part of me which still thinks it is rather bizarre to speak to Alexa, Google, and Siri while we are in the comfort of our own homes. I am also concerned about the collection of information which I am sure is occurring every time we use these devices.  It is already pretty unnerving to have a conversation with a friend and mention something like pizza, only to have supposedly random ads pop up in an email browser which feature pizza from Numero Uno.  Coincidence?  I think not.

At any rate, the convenience of having lights and humidifiers turn on and off automatically is worth it to me.  For example, I had set up a series of lights behind my sofa when I moved in over 2 years ago so that I could have cool mood lighting, but I rarely turned them on because I had to do so via a power strip which was wedged behind the sofa.  Now that I have the power strip plugged into a TP-Link Smart Plug and have it connected to Kasa and Google Home, I can just tell Google to turn the “uplights” on and off whenever I choose. Consequently, I use these mood lights almost nightly.

What do you have set up in your smart home?

Make Your Goals BIG Ones

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We should all have goals which we set for ourselves, because they make us grow as individuals. We may fall a bit short on reaching our goals at times, but the journey and struggle involved in pursuing our passions keep us moving forward. That is why I honestly believe that we need to set big goals, with clearly defined blueprints which keep us focused on the finish line.

A timeline ensures that your intentions are filled with purpose, and keeps you from falling into irrational, delusional thinking. It isn’t unreasonable to reach for the stars, because you never know what you may accomplish over time. Let’s say your ultimate goal is to be the leader in your industry. Perhaps you have just launched a start-up company in which you began making products at home, and you strive to be the industry leader. Why not have that as your end goal? Who’s to say that you can’t attain the pinnacle of success in your business? There are countless businesses which started out in the same way, out of a kitchen with a shoestring budget, and which are now huge successes.

Read on to learn more about businesses which started out very small, and are now considered industry leaders:

Burt’s Bees – This company has become a huge name in natural skin care products, but it started out in an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby founded Burt’s Bees in Maine in 1984, and rented an abandoned schoolhouse to make candles with the excess beeswax from Shavitz’s honey business. Quimby also began crafting homemade skin care products from the wax. Burt’s Bees became incorporated in 1991, and by 2007, it was bought out by Clorox for $925 million.

The Yankee Candle Company – This company was the brainchild of an enterprising teen named Michael Kittredge, who created his first scented candle in his Massachusetts home with melted crayons. By 1975, the first store opened, and the business spread thoughout Massachusetts. There are currently over 500 stores across the United States, and a wholesale network of over 20,000 stores is in place.

Apple – The vision of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack and Ronald Wayne resulted in the trio establishing a business in 1976 out of a garage space in Cupertino, California. The Macintosh line was introduced in 1984, causing their business to explode. Apple has established its unquestionable foothold on the world of technology with revenues of over $14 billion yearly.

Google – Another brilliant trio created this household name in 1998 in a garage in Menlo Park, California, indexing web pages, and developing their search algorithm. The following year, they moved into what is now known as the Googleplex. Today, Google has made an indelible mark on the world of technology.

Mattel – Though Mattel is known as a toy maker giant, it had humble beginnings in the 1940’s making picture frames. Ruth Handler began taking wood scraps from the wood used in making those frames and crafted doll furniture from them. The doll furniture was so popular among customers that the company decided to shift their focus to toys, and by 1959, introduced a doll which they called Barbie.

Now that you have some inspiration, now is the perfect time to dream big and reach for the stars! Good luck, and may great success ensue!