Interested in getting in on all the smart home action but don’t want to replace your current awesome HiFi audio setup or television? Or maybe you just want to automate a piece of legacy equipment like a vintage record player or coffee maker and don’t know-how. Fret not, for a solution is at hand.

Connected Accessories

Connected Accessories are a class of smart gadgets designed to retrofit or otherwise smarten up your existing dumb appliances. They are aimed at integrating as much of your current home into becoming a connected home as possible while giving you time to upgrade as per your needs. Let’s look at some of the products that fall into this category:

Smart Plugs

Perhaps the poster child for a Connected Accessory, smart plugs are designed to plug into your existing regular wall sockets rendering them smart. The smart plugs are Wi-Fi enabled, meaning once they’re connected to your home network, you can turn them on and off at will - even remotely, with your voice or your smartphone. You are therefore able to turn almost any appliance you plug into it, into a ‘smart’ gadget. This can let you automate older appliances. There is no dearth of options for smart plugs with several offerings from many players like TP-Link, Dlink, Oakter etc. with varying amperages to suit your every need.

Smart Input

If you already have a great pair of speakers and are leery about getting a smart speaker, Amazon has got you covered. The Amazon Echo Input device plugs into an existing 3.5mm input jack on your speakers to convert it into a smart speaker with full Alexa integration. You can now treat it just like an Echo device and use all the commands you would normally like asking Alexa for your morning brief or using her to control your smart home tech.

Mesh Routers

Just like how a tree is just as strong as its roots, a connected home is dependent on your home network. It just simply wouldn’t do to automate your home and have it fail because of a shoddy WiFi connection. Sometimes WiFi dead spots occur in larger homes where the signals from your router just can’t penetrate through all the walls to cover the entirety of your house. This is where mesh routers come into play.

Mesh routers are essential two or more routers that are placed all-around your house, and they all output the same WiFi network so that you are connected no matter where you go. Having strategically placed mesh routers ensures that your whole home has a steady WiFi signal and all your smart devices encounter no hitches in performing their duties. TP-Link makes excellent mesh routers that come in either a 1,2 or 3 pack depending on your needs. You can find different variants here.

Smart Remote

Tired of fumbling for the various remotes for your TV, STB, AC and Home Theatre? What if we told you a single app on your phone could take care of all that for you? Smart remotes are WiFi-connected hubs with several infrared (IR) sensors pointing in different directions. After training them with your regular remotes, you can simply just use the smart remote’s companion app on your phone to control all your devices. Oakter, Thrumm and Homemate all have offerings in this area.

Like this article? Also read: What is Connected Convenience?
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