November 25, 2018

A Spoonies Guide to Google Home

When David brought the idea of a "Smart Home" to me, Im 99% sure I laughed at him.  I mean, what even is a smart home?  I'm also pretty sure he told me that it was really for my benefit.  I can't deny it any longer!  I LOVE it!  I catch myself looking at things and saying, I wish this was smart home compatible.  Don't judge me, but how nice would it be to pre heat the oven from your phone on your way home?  Although Im not sure thats what he meant by, I would benefit.

What he actually meant was that adding the little gadgets to our home would make my life easier when it comes to living with chronic illness.  And as usual he was right.  I can't imagine not having all these little gadgets in my life. Last month we added a Google Hub to the line up.  And I am so in love with it.

So I wanted to share a few commands that any spoonie will appreciate!  Honestly, everyone will enjoy them but I think those living with a chronic illness will whole heartedly understand how great they are!  Here are 9 of my favorite things to tell Google.

Hey Google! Show me the front door!
This command is what I love most about the Google Hub.  Unlike the Google Home and Mini, the Hub has a screen on it.  And now when someone knocks on the door, I can see who it is on the Hub thanks to our NestCam out front. I mean lets be honest, getting out of bed takes a lot of energy when you are sick and opening the door to a guy trying to talk to you about pest control isn't worth the effort.

Hey Google!  Turn the AC down/up.
Our first "Smart" Purchase was the Nest Thermostat.  Being able to control the AC from my phone is awesome!  Especially because one minute I am cold and an hour later I am sweating buckets.  All I have to do is ask Google to turn the temperature up or down for me.  I can warm up or cool off from the safety of my big comfy bed.  I can also set it by phone which makes it nice when we are away or coming home.

Hey Google!  Turn the bedroom lights off.
I don't know about anyone else, but when I crash, there is no moving.  When you are tired you are tired.  Just about every other night, I will climb in bed only to remember that I left the light on in the living room. Being able to turn them off with out having to move...yes!  We use Philips Hue lights.  I love that I can change the brightness as well as the color if I want to as well.

Hey Google!  Remind me to give Chico his meds at 7pm.
The best part about Google reminders are that you can set them for crazy ahead of time.  Monday when I had clinic I scheduled my appointment for May.  I asked google to remind me and she said she will remind me the week before.  Which works!  I would have totally missed Mondays appointment if I she didn't remind me the week before!  Oops.  I totally forgot to put in in any of my calendars!  Saved by the Google!

Hey Google!  Call David.
While I don't use this very often, I think this one is important for everyone.  We have it set up so that Google recognizes our voices.  If Alex were to not have his phone on him and get hurt, all he would have to say is "Hey Google call Mom" or if I were to fall or something, I could ask Google to call David or a friend.  There isn't a 911 feature but still this could very well be a live saver still!

Hey Google!  Where is my phone?
I know I am not the only one that loses my phone on the daily.  Brain fog is a real jerk like that!  I love that I can ask google to call my phone and it will say "Hey google, find my phone please!"  Yes I say please.  And she will say "I will make your phone ring on full volume" Then I will proceed to run through the house, or walk, and when I find it I should "Hey google!  I found it!"  And she says "Happy to help!" 

Hey Google!  Remember...
Ok Ok, so Google can find your phone, but wouldn't it be amazing if google could remember things like where you put your keys and if you took medicine.  Well guess can.  Google has a remember feature so it will literally remember things for you.  If I have something I don't want to forget I just ask Google to remember.  She will remember that I put my keys by the front door or that I took my lactulose at 7 this morning.  And when I can't find my keys or I don't know if I took my medicine, Google will!

Hey Google!  Good Morning!
While I don't use routines much, there are two that I do use.  When I am ready to get up, I will say "Hey Google, Good Morning!"  She will give me a weather report, let me know if there is anything on my calendar. Then it will turn on the scentsy warmers and Koopas light thanks to the smart plugs.   And then it will play I Got Sunshine on all the Google homes in the house.  And then I have a special Goodnight Routine that I only use in Alex's room.  It will ask what time to set the alarm and then play my bedtime playlist for 30 minutes while he falls asleep!

Hey Google!  Lock the door.
Who here has locked themselves out of the house before.  I once got all the way to the mailbox before I realized I didn't have my keys on me.  So I walked back home only to realize that I still didn't have my keys on me.  I had locked myself out.  Luckily we have a garage keypad but that only got me in the garage.  So we installed at smart lock on the door that I am able to open with a code or with my phone or David can unlock even if he is at work.  I have yet to lock myself out again since we installed it but the boys love being able to get in without the key. If Im stuck in bed, they just let themselves in after school.

Any other Google fans out there?  Along with the Hub, we have the original Google Home and 2 minis for the boys rooms.  I love that I can broadcast from one room to the other speakers or even from my phone to all of them. I love how easy it is to connect everything together too!  It works seamlessly with our Nest Cameras, locks and the doorbell.

Lets talk!  Do you Google?  Haven't dipped your toes into the whole smart home/ home assistant yet?  What are you waiting for?  You could always put in on your Christmas list and hope you aren't on the naughty list!  What will you ask Google? Maybe you will ask her to play some music or ask what the weather will be like this week?  Or maybe ask her to tell you a joke.  Thats a sure way to get a laugh!  Googles got jokes!

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