Dec 17

Voice-controlled Home Automation Systems

Have you dreamt about going back home to a smart house that does everything on its own, from cleaning to turning the lights off when you go to bed? Wow, that’s sounds like a great house! There already are a number of smart homes worldwide, so there is nothing to be wow-ing about, except for one thing – wouldn’t it be better, if instead of controlling everything in your house with a remote control you could simply speak to your system and tell it what to do? Voice-controlled home automation systems are designed for this.


home automation systems

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What is a voice-controlled home automation system? It’s almost as complicated as its name. Sparkling Carpets West London are going to talk about this kind of system below. If you want to know, have a look.


What is Home Automation?

Before I start, I feel I should clarify one point. What is home automation in the first place? Home automation is a system which makes your household tasks much safer, easier and simpler. This technology has many purposes, such as increasing energy efficiency, improving entertainment systems, controlling dimmers and lights, and automating doors and locks. Normally, it is controlled by means of a remote control, cell phone or computer machine. Home automation can be both cheap and expensive.


Voice-controlled Home Automation

Now to return to our muttons, voice-controlled automation as it name implies is a system that is capable of interpreting vocal commands. Broadly speaking, it can control locks, thermostat, lighting, security and other features of home automation via voice recognition software. All the commands must be submitted via a microphone.

Now, I would like to discuss each point separately.

Alarm system

Depending on what modules you use, your voice-controlled automation system can be used to control your security system. In other words, your voice can enable or disable the system any time through a vocal command. What’s great about this is that the system will recognise your voice only and will not allow strangers to enter your home.

I don’t know about you, but when I was little, I wanted to make doors open by uttering: “Open Sesame”. I will definitely consider using this phrase as a vocal command to open the door of my bedroom or bathroom some day.


Too dark in the house? No problem. Your voice activation system will set the light levels. It can dim, turn off and turn on the lights anytime you give it the right vocal command.

Imagine you’re lying on the couch in your living room and you’re too comfortably positioned to stand up and turn off the lights. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just say: “Okay, I’m falling asleep, so turn the lights off.” Thanks to your voice-controlled system, it is possible now more than ever.

Home theatre

If your home theatre system uses LED transmitters, you can tell it to switch the channels. So as you are watching National Geographic, you can switch to 24 Kitchen by a vocal command to see how Jamie Oliver prepares his ultimate gingerbread. Isn’t that amazing?


How Does it Work?

For your safety, the system is asleep most of the time. You need to utter a special phrase or word to make it respond to your commands. Just like your smartphone’s touch screen is disabled during a call to keep you from accidentally pressing any buttons with your ear, a voice-controlled home automation system has to be asleep until “woken up”. It will prevent the computer from responding to your conversations with your family. I mean, you wouldn’t want the system’s attention when you’re quarrelling with your spouse over trifles.

Dec 10

What’s Best for Travellers- Smartphones, Tablets or Laptops

Finding the best device to carry with you for your travels isn’t easy. There are many things to consider like the purpose of your travel, the lightweight of each devices so the decision can be a tough one. For this reason, I will show you some of the pros and cons of smartphones, tablets and laptops to make your choice easier. Each device has its advantages and disadvantages so take a look at the comparisons and make your choice. If you wonder what’s best for travellers – smartphones, tablets or laptops, read the following article.



image credits to: miniyo73 –


If you don’t plan to work during your travel, the best device you can take with you is your smartphone. They are appropriate when you want to carry a light weight and take only the essential things. Smartphones have many functions and can replace a lot of gadgets like a calculator, music player, torch, map, alarm clock and many other things. You can use the Internet with it in every public restaurant, café or place which has Wi-Fi. There are also many apps, which can offer you translations, navigation, guide books and other things, essential for all travellers.


Smartphones have some disadvantages as well. One of them is their short battery life. They usually last a day or two, depending what you use them for and how frequent. Internet usage usually make your battery drop down very quickly. The other disadvantage is the size of the smartphone. Although larger screens are being manufactured constantly, a 5 inch screen isn’t convenient for reading books or watching films. All websites will be viewed with difficulty, except the ones who have mobile-friendly versions. Smartphones can be used for sending messages, updating  Facebook status, but not for other web activities or work.


Tablets are being used for a few years now and have the facility of larger screens and better battery life than smartphones. With the coming out of iPad they are very preferred. Their disadvantages are: requiring of space, having bigger weight and being more expensive. With your tablet you can use tools like WhatsApp, Skype and Google Voice. If you have Internet connection, you can make phone calls through them and use the web more easier. Tablets have longer battery life especially when in flight mode. Some tablets have cellular data option, which allow you to insert a SIM card inside and use them as a phone.


The disadvantages of tablets include their bigger size, which doesn’t allow you to put them in your pocket and carry them while travelling without a bag. Tablets aren’t appropriate for taking photos. Their advantage of having bigger   screens, compared to the smartphones can be a disadvantage, making them uncomfortable for transportation. They have the same apps and input as the smartphone. Typing and using them for work is difficult and inconvenient to do as it is with smartphones. You can always buy a Bluetooth keyboard and attach it to your tablet – another gadget you need to spend money on and carry around, making it less mobile. With a Bluetooth keyboard you will speed up your typing on the tablet.


Laptops are the devices with the most versatility. They allow you access to various internet sites, apps, tools. Their battery life is long enough and the screen is convenient for working, communicating and doing various things. They are perfect for working travellers. Their keyboard and screen is comfortable for using. The disadvantages are their heavy weight, especially their charger. Laptops are also more expensive and fragile. They can be easily damaged, but have a lot of power.


Smartphones, tablets and laptops are easy for cleaning – all you need is a special cloth for cleaning screens. If you buy a protector for smartphones’ and tablets’ screens, you won’t need to do the cleaning so often.


Depending on your budget, needs and the purpose you will use your device for, laptops, smartphones and tablets has their pros and cons. Evaluate them and make a smart decision what to carry as a traveller, using the information I gave you.



The article is contributed by SW17 shiny carpets

Dec 09

6 simple tips for making the most of your email list


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Whether you are new to email list management or have been doing it for years, try these 6 simple tips to help make the most of your email list and keep it working hard for you. It doesn’t matter whether you have an email list of hundreds or hundreds of thousands to manage, the same principles will hold true.

1. Research

Use your email list to help you research what works best for your customers. Split your list down the middle and use A/B testing to experiment with things like the subject lines for the best open rates. Check out Which test won for ideas.

2. Segment

Dividing your list into groups allows you to plan and target your email campaigns more effectively.

3. Use a regular opt in

It can make sense to periodically send out an email that gets subscribers to verify that they still want to receive your emails. This ensures you have an engaged audience. If you use a service that charges per email sent, keeping your list short and sweet should help keep costs down.

4. Verify, Verify, Verify

Don’t throw away potential customers because of a simple typo, and don’t ruin your reputation by sending out lots of emails to unverified email addresses. It could lead to your emails being blocked. Use an email verification service like Brite Verify to avoid these problems.

5. Keep growing your list

Mobile apps are changing the way people use the web. Your website probably isn’t generating the same subscription rate it used to. If you have an app or are considering building one, make sure you make it easy for people to subscribe in the app. Remember point four? A good email verification service will have an API that lets you build email verification right into your app.

6. Make it easy to unsubscribe

Sounds crazy, but making it easy to unsubscribe has two benefits. Firstly, it helps people trust that you’re a reputable and worthwhile organisation. Secondly, it reduces the likelihood that your emails will be marked as spam by recipients as quick way to unsubscribe. Having your emails marked as spam harms your reputation as a sender and can lead to your emails being blocked.

Dec 02

Home improvement apps to help your inner handyman

There are many home improvement apps which can be used to help you find your inner handyman. In this article I am going to describe some of them and their features, so you will know how to use them. The home improvement applications can be used for various handyman work like fixing leaking sinks, decorating of you rooms and many other things. Nowadays more people are using DIY apps for various home improvement projects.


The first application I am going to recommend you is The Handyman Calculator. It works on Android systems and can be helpful in making calculations, estimating square footage, understanding how much materials you will need for your home improvement projects. This may be replacing the tiles in the bathroom, hardwood floor fitting or painting the walls in your rooms. All you need to do is provide the proper measurements and let this app do the calculations for you.


Similar to The Handyman Calculator is the Home Improvement Calcs application, which is available in iTunes. It has more than 74 000 pre-set functions, which will help you in your projects. This app offers a lot of useful illustrations, explaining the calculations better.


You can avoid visiting your home improvement market and order the materials you need through some application online like London Construction Cleaners do. Both Home Depot and Lowes offer a lot of apps for iOS and Android , which can be used for shopping, buying and having delivered different materials for your home improvement projects.


House Maintenance Schedule is an application for maintaining your house and reminding you for the upcoming  projects. You can use it to remind you when is time for cleaning the down-spout, flush the water heater and many other house maintenance jobs. The app is available in Android and is inexpensive.


Another app which will help your inner handyman uncover is the Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius. It is designed for iPad and iPhone and offers more than 300 tips and ideas how to cope with your home improvement projects.


An application that can do your measurements of rooms, degree angles and different areas is iHandy. It is available on Apple and Android and is inexpensive, but paid app. Another app for taking measurements, but in a easier and technologically advanced way is MagicPlan. It is a free application, working both on Apple and Android, which you can use to measure your rooms, after taking pictures of them. It can also make drawings of your floor plan, giving you the opportunity to add items and to create the interior positioning of your furniture and rooms at home.

5 iPhone Apps for your Home Improvement Project

image credits to: My Decorative –


Snapguide is an application, which can be used for creating, sharing and researching different DIY projects. In this category fall gardening, lifestyle, home improvement, fashion, arts, crafts, sport, fitness and many other topics. You can find many projects, tips, advice and tricks how to realize your ideas. This app is free and is available on Apple.


All of these apps are useful for your home improvement projects and help in finding your inner handyman. But if you consider some of them unnecessary, all of the apps are easy for cleaning from your operating system. Cleaning them can be done by uninstalling the app from your mobile device. With just one click, the app you want to uninstall will be deleted and all its components erased from your smartphone, tablet, iPhone or other device you use. Once you try a certain app, you can estimate if you will need it or not. You can check your device for unnecessary and rarely used apps and get rid of them, freeing space for new ones. Provide regular cleaning of your device to ensure its fast work and practical use.




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