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Friday, August 23, 2019

The Use of Chromecast 2019 in Home Automation



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Google is an absolute colossal giant in the tech industry. Everything from your internet, advertisements, search results, videos, and even phones are powered by Google in one way or another. But recently, the company has been shifting its focus a bit to home automation.

All of this started way back when Google Assistant was announced. It’s not just a voice assistant anymore, it’s basically a way to get around simple tasks while sitting on the couch. Artificial intelligence has gotten much better over the years, and if you’re not skeptical about that sort of thing, it definitely has its benefits.

One of the benefits AI provides is home automation. Google will gladly help you with its Google Assistant and Google Home setup. Even a simple dongle such as the Chromecast can become a powerful tool.


So What Is Home Automation?

Home Automation and AI was something you’d see back in the movies of the 90s. While we’re not quite up to speed with Tony Stark in this regard, it’s definitely more accessible to the average person these days.

Something that was once reserved for billionaires such as Bill Gates (who did it way before it was mainstream), is now just a few efforts away for us. Home automation works to make your home smarter. Simple things like switching on the lights when you come home, throwing up your favorite music on your smart speakers, and even stream live footage from your security cameras, it’s all possible.


So How Does The Chromecast Play Into This?

The Chromecast is a nifty little device that has definitely gained its fan following over the years. As Google is moving us towards a smarter world that’s always connected, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It recently got a refresh as the Chromecast 2019 which makes it faster, adds some smart features, and improves on the looks in small ways.

You probably know the drill by now. You plug your shiny new Chromecast into the TV, power it up via USB and voila! You have an instant way of listening to music and watching the video straight from your phone to the TV. Hence, the “cast” name, as you can cast any sort of video or audio on there.

But there’s so much more to it than that. Pair the Chromecast with Google Assistant and you have a tonne of new doors to open. If you have the Google Home app, and the smart speaker/home assistant, known as Google Home, you can do a lot of home automation stuff with it.


Getting Started

Before we dive deep into what the Chromecast and Google Home can do together, we need to go through a bit of a setup process. Don’t worry though, as most of this will be done via the Google Home app and is pretty easy for even non-tech savvy folks. Here’s what you need to do.

Install the Google Home app on your smartphone, it’s available on both iOS and Android

Go through the initial quick setup process

Tap the menu button, sign in with your Google account (the same one you signed into with the Google Home speaker)

Connect both the Chromecast and Google Home to the same Wi-Fi network

Sift through the “more settings options” and the TV or speaker you’ve connected to Chromecast should show up

Add the Chromecast to network


That’s all there is to it for the setup, now let’s have a look at all the fun things you can do with the Chromecast and Google Home duo.


Play Your Favorite Tunes

If it already wasn’t easy enough to play music on your phone and cast it to your TV or speaker, Google Home makes it even easier. Just ask the assistant to play any sort of music via your desired music player (Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and others are supported) and it will do so without a complaint.

But that’s not all, with a recent update you can even schedule when to play music. Can’t sleep without some soothing white noise or background sounds? We’ve got you covered. Just find the most relaxing music you can, make a playlist in the music player and tell Google to play it at a certain time.

This way whenever you go to bed, you’ll always have something to relax to. You could even use this as an alarm clock so that it will play something whenever you need to wake up.


Videos Are Just One Voice Command Away

If you connected both the Chromecast and Google Home with the same network, you don’t need to pull out your phone to play a video. Normally, you’d pull out the phone, find the video, and then cast it to your TV.

With Netflix or Youtube, you can just command Google Home to play a specific video, movie or TV show and it will start automatically. Once other services get on board, this feature should get pretty mainstream.


Monitor Your Security Footage

This is probably the most useful home automation feature Google provides. Nest makes security cameras, and they are owned by Google is a Google-owned company. As you can imagine, they play very well with Google Home

Setup the Nest camera and connect it to the network via the Google Home app, and you now have a smart camera setup you can view with Chromecast.

You can use different voice commands such as “Show me my security footage” or if you have different cameras “show me camera #2”, and it will automatically start playing that footage on the TV.

Once other companies hop on board with Google Assistant, we’ll have more security cameras with this feature.


Final Thoughts

Those are the main things you can do right now with Chromecast. It’s really surprising that such a small device works so well for home automation. Google is really pushing us towards a more connected world, and we’re not complaining. One day, we could do all of our meager tasks at home with just a few voice commands.

But that’s not all. There’s a lot you can do with your Chromecast if you connect it to your PC too. They're also a bunch of other tricks buried inside. If you want to know absolutely everything Chromecast can do, read this definitive guide to Chromecast.

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