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Voice Assistants 

The concept of a "smart home" may seem like something out of an old Ray Bradbury short story, creating fantastical visions of automated everything and homes with personalities. Even beyond that, to a frugal consumer, even more believable concepts of smart living may seem like works of fiction due to their price tags alone. As an emerging category of living, a smart home is attainable at nearly any income bracket with voice assistants.    

What are Voice Assistants?

A voice assistant, or smart speaker, is a tiny addition you can make to your home that can make a number of your regular tasks even simpler:  

Small. Most voice assistants, regardless of brand, are usually smaller than common Internet routers, meaning that no matter where you place them, they are not stealing a lot of valuable table space. 

Subtle design. These devices have designs that easily blend into most decor styles. They are simple, sleek, but small and unassuming enough that classic or contemporary, they may not clash. Often, the only thing you have to choose is color.  

Competitive brands. With offerings like the Google Home and Google Home Mini, the Apple HomePod, and the Amazon Alexa and Amazon Dot, all the major brands have at least one assistant to offer, and the variety means that it's easy and affordable to snag one for yourself.    

What Features Do Voice Assistants Have?

Voice activation: Simply speak the magic words to get the assistant's attention (for example: "Hey, Google."), and it is instantly listening and awaiting your command.  

Instant music, when you want it: Link up your favorite music app, and tell your assistant what you want to hear.  

Online ordering: You can tie certain assistants to accounts you already have on popular shopping platforms. Need something for your pantry? Your assistant has it in hand. Just list off your shopping items and place your order from the comfort of your kitchen.  

Instant information: Perhaps you need a recipe, to define a word, or even do quick math. Wake your assistant and they will find the answers for you.   

Premium Smart Home Applications

With smart assistants, your home is just a little smarter, but for the ambitious: there are a number of ways to automate your living space. Interfacing with smart assistants and smartphones, you can find light bulbs that turn on when you want them to, or turn off with hands-free commands. With a few adjustments and an addition or two, you can command your Google Home to turn your air conditioning on and off. If there is sudden turn in the weather while you're away from home, a simple command from your phone can mean your home's climate is precise and perfect when you return to it. New applications that tie to your home security are the next great horizon. The technology is growing every day, with new innovations within the average homeowner's grasp, but they all begin with your first smart assistant.

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