Smart home technology has given us the power to control every aspect of our home from the palm of our hand. This technology allows you to connect every device in your home to a central hub; from controlling your lights with the Phillips Hue to upgrading your home security with products from Ring, your home customization options are numerous. Typically, you would use a smartphone to control your setup. Beyond your phone, you can also use a smart watch or tablet. In a pinch though, you can also use your television to adjust your in-home smart devices as well. Throughout this article, we will cover those options by talking primarily about Apple Home/HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings as well as briefly covering some other smart home options.
Controlling smart home devices with Apple HomeKit
If you’re living in the Apple ecosystem, it’s probably best to start with the Apple alternative for controlling your home’s smart devices. Apple HomeKit is a slick app available on your smartphone, tablet and Apple Watch that will allow you to control any Apple HomeKit device. Apple HomeKit is the software layer that allows your smart home devices (like doorbells, lights and alarms) to talk to and interact with your Apple hardware. There are over 50 brands that support Apple HomeKit. To find them, just look for the Apple HomeKit logo on our website or the product packaging to determine compatibility.
To use these gadgets with your television, you’ll need a newer Apple TV; only the 3rd/4th generations of Apple TV as well as the Apple TV 4K are compatible with Apple HomeKit. If you have the right hardware, start by setting up the Apple Home app through your iOS device. If you’re logged in to your iCloud account on your Apple TV, you should then be able to control all of your smart home gadgets equipped with Apple HomeKit. You can even use your voice on the 4th generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K to use Apple Home.
Beyond your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, you can also setup your Apple HomePod to be an Apple Home hub.
Samsung SmartThings and smart home devices
Outside of Apple solutions, several other device manufacturers have their own smart home solutions, including Samsung.
Their software for controlling your house’s smart devices is called Samsung SmartThings. Originally started as a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, SmartThings was purchased by Samsung in 2014. Since that time, this technology has made its way into more and more devices and now comes built-in with several televisions from the company. The Samsung Q65F and Samsung Q9F series of TVs are the latest models to come packed with SmartThings.
Like Apple Home, Samsung SmartThings can be quite handy. If you’re watching a movie on your Samsung Q9F television and have a Nest Cam WiFi Indoor IP Camera set up in the home to watch your newborn, for instance, you can flip from the movie to your Nest camera using your remote and Samsung’s Bixby personal voice assistant.
Even the Xbox One can control smart home devices
Although not the most ideal solution, you can also control your smart home devices through your Xbox One. However, this should not be your go-to solution for a smart home hub as the app that you would download to accomplish is not developed by Microsoft. This leads to a solution that works but is not as elegant as Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomeKit.
If you are curious about this route, Home Remote is one example of a smart hub available for the Xbox One. This app is also available on Windows 10 and is compatible with a ton of popular smart home devices from manufacturers like Nest, Honeywell and Wink.
Other customization options for your smart home
Beyond the options identified here from Samsung, Apple and Microsoft that allow you to control your smart home through your television, your smart home gadgets can also be controlled using other devices. If you’re okay with a more voice-centric approach to controlling your smart home devices, you should check out products loaded with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or IFTTT.
If you would like to be able to control all of the gadgets in your home using your smartphone, tablet or television and do not know where to begin, consider a Geek Squad In-Home Consultation for Smart Home Automation. This free service will help you assess your smart home wants and (with the help of a Geek Squad consultant) come up with the perfect combination of devices to suit your needs.
For more information about smart home automation, check out the Best Buy Canada website.