Smart Speakers/Displays - Do you use them? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Smart Speakers/Displays - Do you use them?

Figured I'd start a discussion on smart speakers & displays like Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc. Do you use them? Why or why not?

For me, getting some Phillips Hue bulbs is the gateway to me using Google Assistant more on my phone, and I'm seriously considering getting a few Google Homes and/or a Lenovo smart display.

While I know some may consider these devices too invasive, Google already knows enough about me that it doesn't worry me too much. Yes, these devices are technically always listening for the trigger word (OK Google), but I don't think they're listening all the time. Google even addressed that one in the Mini when it was first released and reviewers discovered pressing the middle would keep the mic active.



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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-04-11, 11:50 PM
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I have 2 Google Minis. One I won when I upgrade my phone on Black Friday. I bought another one from BB when It was on sale.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 07:53 AM
 
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I'm deep into Google Home with 4 Google Home speakers, a chromecast audio I treat as a speaker and a Lenovo Display speaker. I also have an Echo Dot I got for free. Everything I have was bought on sale.

The reason I got into it is that my wife who is a relative newbie when it comes to computers, etc didn't know how to play music from our stereo system. With Spotify, IHeart Radio, etc., she can give a voice command and get what she wants. I have a speaker group that includes the speakers we listen to the most but can also play music everywhere if I wish.

That was the start. Then, we have TP-Link and Wemo light switches and plugs and a Canary security system that I can control with Alexa and get stats like temperature, humidity, etc. from Google Home. I say "Alexa, Trigger Away Mode" and the alarm is set and "Alexa, Trigger Home Mode" to turn it off.

I have an Insignia smart speaker from Best Buy US that has a digital clock and perpetually displays the temperature outside. That is on my bedroom night table and is my alarm clock.

The Lenovo is in my dining room. I've used it to watch youtube videos but most of the time it displays a photo slideshow. Some people have had problems with the display dying on them but not me. I've had it since last Black Friday.

There are 2 or 3 items that I still would like to implement - a door lock, a Ring or Nest doorbell and a smart thermostat. I have a Nest smoke detector and tried installing a Nest thermostat and found that it's not compatible with our electric baseboard heaters. I ended up selling it on Kijiji. So far every thermostat I've looked into won't work with my heating system. If I install a ring doorbell, the Lenovo will show me who is at the door.

As for the door lock, I'm waiting for good sale on a unit like the August where you change the inside unit but the outside unit remains the same. Living in a condo building, I'm not allowed to change the outside appearance.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 11:08 AM
 
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1 google Home and 2 mini's so far, have them set up to do routines, turn on and off lights, run the Nest thermostat and the Nvidia Shields I have can be voice controlled as well.

Just wish I could put in a smart doorbell. The old wired doorbell messed up years ago so when new front doors went in, they covered the hole. The Nest indoor camera covers the front of the house well though
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-04-12, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I have a Mini that will eventually be sent thanks to that Spotify promotion. I did have one before, but wasn't really using it much, but now it'll be handy for controlling lights.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-05-03, 12:36 PM
 
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I cannot find a use for a smart speaker in our place. Just two of us, we have different tastes in tv programmes so we each have our own tv and pvr.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2019-05-03, 03:57 PM
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I wouldn't have a smart speaker. Invasion of privacy and data mining is far too prevalent with these types of devices. It's one thing to provide smart devices, which I applaud, but the amount of data mining and it's uses are much too invasive. We've already seen many cases where data was sold to or stolen by companies or individuals that used it illegally. When that's scaled back significantly I'll take another look at smart devices and assistants.

The smart features on my TV are disconnected. It doesn't offer enough features to make it worth it. Smart TVs and their apps often lose support after a few years so it will soon be moot.

Using an app to control lighting and other devices or appliances is a trade off I will accept if it provides enough benefits. When they start building cameras and microphones into refrigerators and other items I must take a close look at the reputation of the company and what it is planning to do with the data they are able to collect.
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