How much does it cost to buy and run? Is it within my budget?
Do I need to buy other products to make it work?
Is it right for me?
Does it complete the task more efficiently than I can?
Does it make my life easier?
Think about how you will install, use and update devices and where you can get support if things go wrong.
Smart home technologies
There are lots of products out there. Some can help you do a range of tasks but you may have to buy and install different devices or adaptors for each one.
You can control smart home devices using:
voice-activated hubs like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo or Google Home
Whatever you want to do, check that the equipment you're looking to buy or already own is smart enabled. Find out on the manufacturer's website.
For example, your old bedside lamp will not become smart because you have downloaded an app to your phone or installed a smart hub in your home. You may need to buy a smart plug or adaptor. These cost about £20 each. When it comes to heating and lighting systems, you may need a qualified engineer to make changes in your home.
If you have issues with speech or hearing, you may find they are not the right smart technology for you. You can write commands in Google Assistant on your phone or tablet. You can use these commands to control smart devices without speaking.
Google Home is a hands-free assistant that allows you to access the internet, play music and control compatible devices using your voice. It costs from £20.
With Google Home you can use your voice to access the following services:
You will need a Google account to set up a Google Home device. You can sign up with your current email or by creating a new email account with Google (gmail).
If your TV has Chromecast, you can use Google Home to stream some TV and audio content. Search for your TV's model online to see if the manufacturer's page says it has “Chromecast built-in” or “Google Cast”.
You will need to check what devices, including smart plugs and adaptors, are compatible with Google Home.