What is the Internet of Things? Homeowners know it as the process of adding automated, and in some cases, decision making power to devices like appliances, lights, vehicles, heating and air conditioning, and so on. Basically, we’re turning our lives into a world of robotics. If this sounds to you like it’s right out The Jetsons, you might be right, except that The Jetsons are here. Now.
Home appliances are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities for the use of data exchange and connectivity among devices, but this column is about apps, so that’s as good a place as any to get us started down the path of understanding the Internet of Things.
We’ve connected with members of the CPA Practice Advisor community and beyond to get some insights into how these Iot apps work. Here’s what we found out.
Doug Sleeter, founder of The Sleeter Group, shared these IoT apps with us:
- Ring – You can remotely control/view your doorbell and home video cameras. Record and watch later.
- Screenlogic – Control Pentair pool equipment from your phone, including pool pumps, features, and garden lights.
- Alexa – One of the original virtual assistants for home automation. Using Alexa, you can play music, make errand and shopping lists, set alarms, get the weather, find out sports scores, and hear the news. Alexa can interact with several home automation devices.
- Nest – Use Next to control home heating and air conditioning. It’s easy to use, full featured, and allows you to control your home temperature from anywhere.
Samantha Mansfield, director of professional development and community at CPA.com, recommends using Sonos speakers enabled with Amazon Alexa. “This has been a great addition to the house for better sound for calling up Sirius XM, Audible, etc. while still have the ability to create shopping lists in the middle of cooking dinner and adding songs to my wedding play list (yes, stole that idea from the commercials). Really like the sound quality of the Sonos with the functionality of Alexa.”
Blake Oliver, senior product marketing manager for FloQast, told us, “I lose everything, so I’m a big fan of Tile (www.thetileapp.com). Tile makes little bluetooth tracking devices that you pair with your phone so you always know the last place you left something. I have one attached to my keys, wallet, and backpack. I keep one in the car to remind me where I parked. Whenever I lose my wallet, I just open the Tile app on my phone and tap a button to make my wallet ring, just like a mobile phone.”
Elizabeth Pittelkow, CPA, CITP, CGMA, Controller at Litera Microsystems, recommends the Ring doorbell app for its ease of use, quality video, and notifications. “You can talk through the app to people who approach your doorstep, which is especially convenient for deliveries.” Note that you don’t have to be at home to use the app to see who is at your door and speak to the person. Ring has also introduced a Neighbors app that works like a neighborhood watch where neighbors using the app can alert each other to potential crime and safety issues.
If you’d like to read more about how this new world of connectivity is going to impact your life, here are some interesting places to explore:
Read an overview of the Best Connected Home Products, including energy monitoring, light schedules, smart sprinklers, garage door openers, door lock systems, and more at https://bit.ly/2NDcM5B
Home gadget control is fun and may seem like a luxury, but take a look at some of the myriad ways in which the Internet of Things is impacting businesses, including, eventually, your own business and your clients. https://bit.ly/2bbQILp
See inside July 2018
Changes Coming to the Meals & Entertainment Deduction
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017 and represents the most extensive tax reform legislation we’ve seen in 30 years. These sweeping tax law changes impact many taxpayers, including individuals, businesses, estates and ...