01 is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I've recently come across a series of problems ever since I upgraded my home. For starters, I seem to have a lot more company than I used to have when my home wasn't considered "smart." Secondly, smart isn't always as smart as it claims to be. Allow me to explain.
I decided to do my cousin a favor the other day and watch her child, my godson, while her and her husband went out for a work event. She packed up snacks and juice boxes, all his favorite toys, well wishes—that sort of thing. I promised I'd give them the tour after they got back, but I had urgent matters on my hands. You see, buddy boy was having a hard time defeating Bowser and his evil cohorts in Super Mario Galaxy, and needed somebody with an immense knowledge of video games who was up for the task. That person was, admittedly, not me, but I had no problems kicking back for the day in front of the tube while my godson tried to show that ugly turtle who was boss.
Well, after several attempts of him "showing [me] how to do it," he decided he wanted a snack. He left me the controller and returned in a short time to coach me through the controls in my efforts to save the day. Tried as we might, we only got close a couple of times. My cousin surprised me in the living room as we were just losing the big boss battle yet again, and my godson ran to greet her at the door.
"Man, it's kind of hot in here," she said, giggling a bit as I stood up to greet her.
I responded that I hadn't noticed, (or had, but was embarrassed that a game was making me sweat as much as it did... or so I thought), but as I walked by the living room, fiddling with the thermostat and listening to my godson while he recapped the hours of playing video games together, that's when I noticed it: The refrigerator was whining its low-pitch warning that the door was open, chilling the entire house and my dog, who was standing on her hind legs and in the process of eating the entire bag of baby carrots she so adamantly enjoyed. It clicked in my head that the thermostat recognized the kitchen was cooling down, so the heat needed to compensate; and although I wasn't mad at my teary-eyed godson, I was a little annoyed.
They left, and as I was pouring the milk down the drain, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "It's 2019. Why the fuck didn't I know my cousin was walking into my house, the smart fridge was left wide open, my dog was doing something she should not have been doing, and the thermostat was blasting heat on such a nice day?"
Something had to be done.
I've known for a long time that no good deed goes unpunished (which is why I set myself up with security cameras), but I knew something had to give. Scouring the internet with a search similar to "why is my smart home so dumb," I stumbled across FIBARO's website and their motion detection cameras. "Okay, that's one problem solved," I thought clicking on the link.
Who knew I could be so wrong?
The video explains it all.
The world's smallest motion detection camera actually wound up solving all my aforementioned problems. After I synced it up to my smart home (luckily it ran on z-wave, or else I would have had to continue my aggravating search through Reddit forums and crap Amazon reviews), I understood what the concept of having a smart house was truly meant for: Comfortable, stress-free living.
Everything is accessible from FIBARO's app.
For the first time ever, I could utilize all my smart devices from an app on my smart phone. Once I figured out how to set my settings, notifications, and alarms, I decided to put the hardware to the test.
The first thing I did was leave my backdoor open to test my puppy's resolve. I have a decently sized backyard and a kooky dog, so I strategically (and aesthetically) placed the motion detector on the opposite side of the door as the porch light, hoping both trips to doggy bootcamp were worth the money spent. I slowly and calmly backed away from her, telling her, "Staaaaayyyyy," as I disappeared from sight. My phone instantly alerted me that she flew the coup, and I watched, from the screen, as she bolted to the other side of the yard, chasing a rather ambitious rabbit around the lawn for a second before it disappeared under my shed and then who knows where. I did get a little alert when "-1" left the house though, so that's pretty cool.
The second little test was to invite over my girlfriend and set of couple friends over for a double date. At one point or another, they always seem to go off into some other room to "argue." So we (me and the girlfriend) made dinner, opened up a nice bottle of wine, and thought of every trigger we could think of to get them going before we decided to put on a movie. Well, just like clockwork, they started leaning into each other and whispering between themselves. Off they went, and I opened the app to track their progress from the guest room. I didn't really understand why they went into the guest room, until I noticed that the argument was just a ruse so that they can be alone. Not to say that they weren't heated, but uh... well, it's safe to say I let them have their privacy. The AC did kick on in the guest room though, so after a quick shot of Febreeze, all should be well. The best part of that test though? My girlfriend wanted to test that feature. "Just to be sure it works." And with FIBARO's playback video? I really enjoyed that idea, too.