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My Smart Home for Seniors

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My Smart Home for Seniors

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  • Copyright 2018
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 384
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5989-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5989-4

Winner, Bronze Award, APEX 2018 and 2018 INDIES Book of the Year Honorable Mention/Health

This full-color introduction to the smart home has been written from the ground up with one audience in mind: seniors. No ordinary "beginner's book," My Smart Home for Seniors approaches every topic from a 50+ person's point of view, using meaningful, realistic examples.

Full-color, step-by-step tasks–in legible print–walk you through making your home safer and easier to live in using smart technology. Learn how to:

• Control your home’s lighting with smart bulbs and switches
• Make your home more secure with smart doorbells, door locks, and security cameras
• Automatically control your home’s temperature with a smart thermostat
• Make cooking and cleaning easier with smart appliances
• Use voice commands or your smart phone to control your smart devices
• Use If This Then That (IFTTT) to make your smart devices interact with each other automatically
• Get smart about the security and privacy concerns of smart devices
• Set up your smart devices and get them to work with one another
• Compare and select the best smart hub for your smart home needs
• Learn to use Amazon Alexa™, Google Home™ and other voice-activated devices, as well as Apple’s HomeKit™ on the iPhone, to make your smart devices work together

Sample Content

Online Chapter

Download the online Chapter 16

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 11 and index)

Table of Contents

1  Making Your Life Easier with Smart Home Technology     3
What Is a Smart Home?     4
How Smart Home Technology Works     6
   Smart Communications     6
   Smart Operations     7
   Smart Interactivity     8
What Can Your Smart Home Control?     9
   Smart Lighting     9
   Smart Heating and Cooling     11
   Smart Home Security     12
   Smart Appliances     13
   Smart Home Entertainment     14
   Smart Home Control     15
   And More…     15
Why You Need to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home     16
   Saving Time and Effort     16
   Saving Money and Conserving Energy     17
   Doing More     17
2  Understanding Smart Home Hubs and Controllers     21
Understanding Smart Home Technologies     21
   X10     23
   Insteon     24
   Wi-Fi     25
   Bluetooth     25
   Z-Wave     25
   ZigBee     26
Comparing Smart Home Systems     26
   Insteon     27
   SmartThings by Samsung     28
   Wink     28
   And More…     29
What Works with What?     30
Comparing Smart Home Controllers     34
   Apple HomeKit     35
   Amazon Echo and Alexa     36
   Google Home     37
3  Automating Your Home Lighting     41
Considering Smart Lighting Systems     41
   Insteon     41
   LIFX     42
   Philips Hue     42
   Wink     43
   Other Systems     43
Using the Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting System     44
   Connect the Hue Bridge     44
   Connect to the Hue Dimmer Switch     46
   Control Your Lights with the Dimmer Switch     48
   Connect to the Hue App     48
   Create a Room     50
   Add More Lights or Accessories     52
   Turn Lights On or Off with the Hue Smartphone App     54
   Dim Your Lights     55
   Adjust a Light’s Color Temperature     55
   Select a Scene     57
   Create a New Scene     58
   Create a New Home & Away Routine     61
   Create a Wake Up Routine     65
   Create a Go to Sleep Routine     66
4  Automating Heating and Cooling     71
Understanding Smart Thermostats     71
   How Smart Thermostats Work     72
   Should You Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat?     74
Evaluating Smart Thermostats     75
   Carrier Cor Wi-Fi Thermostat     76
   Ecobee     77
   Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat     78
   Honeywell Lyric Round Wi-Fi Thermostat     79
   Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat     80
   Nest Learning Thermostat     80
Using the Nest Learning Thermostat     83
   Set Up and Configure Your Nest Thermostat     84
   Control Your Thermostat     90
   Set the Temperature     91
   Program Your Nest     93
   Learning Your Routine     94
   Connecting Your Nest to Other Smart Devices     95
5  Automating Home Security     99
Adding a Smart Doorbell     100
   How Smart Doorbells Work     100
   August Doorbell Cam     101
   Ring Video Doorbell     103
   SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell     105
Installing a Smart Door Lock     106
   How Smart Door Locks Work     107
   August Smart Lock     108
   Kwikset Kevo     111
   Kwikset Premis     112
   Schlage Connect     113
   Schlage Sense     113
   Yale Assure Lock with Bluetooth     114
Using Smart Security Cameras     115
   How Smart Cameras Work     115
   Arlo Q     117
   Arlo Pro     118
   Canary Flex     119
   Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor     120
Working with Smart Smoke and CO Detectors     122
   Birdi     123
   Halo+     124
   Nest Protect     124
Assembling a Smart Home Security System     126
   Samsung SmartThings     127
   Wink     128
   Canary     128
   Piper     130
   iSmartAlarm     131
   SimpliSafe     132
6  Automating Your Kitchen and Laundry     135
Understanding Today’s Smart Appliances     136
   Smart Operation     136
   Smart Monitoring     137
   Smart Energy Savings     137
   Smart Maintenance     137
Smarter Food Storage with Smart Refrigerators     138
   GE Connected Refrigerators     138
   LG SmartThinQ Refrigerators     139
   Samsung Family Hub Refrigerators     140
Smarter Cooking with Smart Ranges and Ovens     142
   GE Wi-Fi Connected Ovens and Ranges     142
   LG SmartThinQ Ranges     143
   Samsung Wi-Fi Ranges     144
Smarter Dishwashing with Smart Dishwashers     145
   Bosch Dishwasher with Home Connect     145
   GE Wi-Fi Connected Dishwashers     145
Smarter Cleaning with Smart Washers and Dryers     146
   GE Wi-Fi Connected Washers and Dryers     147
   LG SmartThinQ Washers and Dryers     148
   Whirlpool     148
7  Automating Home Entertainment     153
Watching Smart TV     153
   What’s Inside a Smart TV     154
   What a Smart TV Does     155
   Using a Typical Smart TV156
   Using a Smart Set-Top Box     158
Streaming Audio Throughout Your Home     159
   Using the Amazon Echo as a Speaker     160
   Using Google Home as a Speaker     161
Using the Harmony Hub     162
   Getting to Know the Harmony Hub     162
   What’s It Work With?     164
   Setting Up the Harmony Hub     164
   Using the Harmony Hub     165
8  Examining Other Smart Devices and Applications     169
Smart Devices for the Living Room     169
   Smart Plugs     170
   Smart Outlets     171
   Smart Wall Switches     171
   Smart Motion Detectors     172
   Smart Window Coverings     173
   Smart Vacuums     174
Smart Devices for the Bedroom     175
   Smart Bedding and Accessories     175
Smart Devices for the Kitchen     176
   Smart Coffee Makers     177
   Smart Cooking Appliances     178
Smart Devices for the Garage     178
   Smart Garage Door Openers     178
   Smart Car Adapter     180
Smart Devices for Outdoors     181
   Smart Irrigation Systems     181
   Smart Lawn Mowers     181
9  Controlling Your Smart Home with Wink     185
Getting to Know Wink     185
Setting Things Up     187
   Connect the Wink Hub     2     188
   Add a New Device via Barcode Scanning     190
   Manually Add a New Device     193
Using the Wink App     196
   Turn a Device On or Off     196
   View Information from a Sensor     197
   Create a Shortcut     199
   Activate a Shortcut     201
Automating Activities with Robots and Events     202
   Create a Robot     202
   Remove a Robot     206
   Create an Event     206
10  Controlling Your Smart Home with Apple Home     213
Understanding Apple HomeKit     214
   How HomeKit Works     214
   What’s Compatible with HomeKit     215
Adding Devices and Rooms     216
   Add a New Device     217
   Add a New Room     219
   Assign an Accessory Device to a Room     220
   Create a Scene     222
Controlling Your Smart Devices     223
   Control a Device or Scene     224
   Controlling Devices and Scenes with Siri     225
Automating Multiple Devices     225
   Create a Location Automation     227
   Create a Time Automation     229
   Create a Controlled Automation     231
11  Controlling Your Smart Home with Amazon Alexa     235
Understanding Alexa—and Echo     236
   What Alexa Does and How Alexa Works     236
   Using Alexa as a Smart Home Controller     236
Meet Amazon’s Echo Devices     237
   Amazon Echo     237
   Amazon Echo Dot     238
   Amazon Echo Show     239
   Which Echo Is Right for You?     239
Setting Up Your Echo Device     240
   Set Up Your Device     241
   Changing the Wake Word     246
Working with Alexa     249
   Employ General Commands     250
   Tell Alexa What to Do     251
Using the Alexa App     252
   Tour the Alexa App     252
   Link Accounts from Other Services     254
Working with Alexa’s Skills     257
   Find a Skill     257
   Add a Skill to Alexa     260
Using Alexa to Control Your Smart Devices     261
   What’s Compatible?     261
   Connect a Smart Device to Alexa     261
   Working with Device Groups     264
   Controlling a Smart Device with Alexa     266
12  Controlling Your Smart Home with Google Home     269
Understanding Google Home and the Google Assistant     270
Setting Up and Using Google Home     271
   Set Up Your Device     272
   Navigate and Configure the Google Home App     278
Working with the Google Assistant     282
   Wake Words     283
   Employ General Commands     283
   Tell the Google Assistant What to Do     284
Using Google Home to Control Your Smart Devices     285
   What Does Google Home Control?     285
   Pair a Device with the Google Assistant     286
   Use the Google Assistant to Control Your Smart Devices     289
13  Using Smart Technology for Independent Living     291
Making Daily Living Easier     292
   Use a Voice-Controlled Personal Assistant     292
   Install Smart Lighting Systems     293
   Employ a Smart Doorbell     294
   Install a Smart Door Lock     294
   Consider a Smart Thermostat     295
Keeping You and Your Loved Ones Safer     297
   Install a Smart Door Lock     297
   Employ Smart Door and Window Sensors     298
   Add Smart Cameras     298
   Use a Personal GPS Tracker     299
   Employ a Personal Safety Device     300
Embracing In-Home Care     303
14  Adding More Functionality with IFTTT     305
Understanding IFTTT     306
   How Does IFTTT Work?     306
   Why Would You Want to Use IFTTT?     307
   What Does IFTTT Work With?     308
Using IFTTT Applets     308
   Link a Device or Service to IFTTT     309
   Find and Activate an Applet     311
   Manage Your Applets     313
Creating Your Own Applets     313
   Understanding the Parts of an Applet     313
   Create a New Applet     314
15  Evaluating Privacy and Security Concerns     319
Privacy Concerns     320
   What Do They Really Know About You?     320
   How Much Privacy Do You Need?     322
Security Issues     323
   Spyware and Botnets     323
   Seizing Control     325
What Can You Do?     326
   Making Your Smart Home Safer     327
   Is It Safe Enough?     328
16  What’s Next? (ONLINE ONLY)
Glossary     331
Index     335

Find the bonus online chapter and other helpful information on this book’s website at


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