Smart Assistants

May 25, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Tech advancements that will give you peace of mind and ease of use like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana.

The Future is Here with Smart Assistants

As the days go by, numerous technological advancements happen worldwide all in the hopes to make our day-to-day lives easier and better. There are smart innovations that we incorporate into our daily routine and as we get used to the home-owning gadgets and tools, we continue to yearn for more convenience through technology and our people continue to strive and work hard to produce these things for future generations.      

Tech Evolution

Technological evolution helped us in many ways professionally and personally; we have what we call “Smart Assistants” which are devices that we “speak” to and “talk back” as a response to a question or command from us. Smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri can help us in our personal and professional lives – they could serve as our assistants except for the fact that they could not run errands for us. But they could remind us to go to the grocery when needed to.

These smart assistants are compatible and can be synced into your other smart devices and can be controlled or communicated with through your smartphones. And if you have elderly people around, these are user-friendly as they can just “speak” to it and it will do its job. These Smart Assistants can be hooked up with your Smart Home which adds value to your home.

What can Smart Assistants do exactly? It is in their job description to serve as your assistant. You could ask these smart assistants to remind you of something or ask them a question and they will be the ones to do the searching of answers for you.

And as aforementioned above, they could be synced into your other smart devices. One of the leading products in the market for smart assistants would be Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker. Since there are many things that you could use Alexa for, Alexa could be the command center of your home or office making your personal and professional life easier.

How Smart Assistants Are Helping Us Work Better

Starting with the professional aspect of your life. Given a situation where you are busy you tend to forget your schedules and the things you should do, you could even forget to check on your to-do list.

But if you sync Alexa with your digital calendar, Alexa could remind you that you have a meeting at 2:30 in the afternoon, or you are supposed to pick-up a client at 8:00 in the morning. Alexa could serve as your reminder and alarm in one. It goes both ways, if you set an alarm on your phone it will automatically be synced with Alexa’s system and if you just command Alexa to set an alarm for you at a certain time, it will also reflect on your smartphone. 

Another thing that Alexa could help you in the office with is when you have foreign clients, you don’t have to go through the hassle of actually learning the language just to talk to your client, you could just whip up your phone or Alexa to translate the language your client is speaking – real-time. Alexa as a smart assistant and speaker has a two-way audio system, it can “listen” to your client and it can also “speak” to your client in his native language. 

If there is money involved and needs currency conversions, Alexa can do the math for you accurately as it will use the current conversion rate rather than relying on other error-prone calculations. If you want to do your work hands-free, you can command Alexa to place calls on your behalf. This way you can multitask more effectively and increase your productivity. 

More Than A Schedule Reminder

Personally, Alexa is more than just a reminder robot. You can enjoy blasting off music even if you’re not holding your phone, with just one command Alexa can play music for you or turn on series or movies that you want to watch. 

If you are in a pinch and do not know where to eat or where to go, you can ask Alexa for recommendations and Alexa could give you the best results based on your location and preference. 

Another example of Alexa’s use would be for grocery shopping. Especially nowadays wherein people do not have the luxury to go out of their houses and do the shopping on their own, with just one command Alexa can bring together the groceries you need and order them off wherever you want through Amazon. 

There could also be times wherein you get sick and you are alone while your loved ones are at work or school, it is approved by the National Health Service, as Amazon teamed up with them, that Alexa could answer your questions referenced from the National Health Service’s official health guidelines.

Planning For Your Health

In talks of health, if you are on a diet or planning a workout routine you can ask Alexa to whip up a workout routine for you. Or if you do have a workout app, you can just command Alexa to open it for you and start working out. You do not even have to hold your phone or touch it to know what workout to do next, since Alexa initially is a smart speaker, it could just play the next routine for you. 

Alexa could provide you coaching in every step that the fitness app has or if you want to see it visually, Alexa could describe it for you or you can hook it on a monitor and let Alexa play a video for you to watch or stream while working out. Again, this is where you can use Alexa as your digital DJ. Turn the music up while you are working out to feel it.

Alexa’s algorithm can recognize patterns depending on your commands and searches. This makes Alexa more personalized and can curate tailored results just perfect for your preference and taste. Alexa gets to know your routines and if you are a homeowner wanting to maintain the value (or even add value to your home) it would be best to incorporate your smart devices at home with Alexa. 

Buying and owning a home is a good thing, but maintaining it without training your insurance is another thing. Alexa does not need any special installation in your home but the smart devices that you can sync it with may need special and professional installation. 

In cases like this, feel free to contact your independent insurance agents here to know more about your policy as a homeowner. Once you have reviewed your policies as a homeowner and decide to expand the smart home system you have, there are smart plugs, smart lighting, and smart devices that you could use Alexa with.

Advanced Home Use of Smart Home Assistant

Imagine this, you walk up to your home, and you are exhausted from work. You do not even have the energy to adjust the thermostat or open the lights. With Alexa’s technology, it could recognize the pattern of what time you usually get home and turn on the lights and adjust thermostats for you. 

No, you are not being lazy, you are just optimizing Alexa’s use and maximizing the comfort of your home. Insurance-wise you could convert your home into a smart home and establish home automation making your household a little more “futuristic” and reliant on technology than other houses. Aside from the entertainment and leisure that Alexa can offer, you could be wondering if Alexa can help in home management?

The answer would be yes. There are “Home Center” apps that can use Alexa’s features, also called skills. These Home Center apps not only help with your home maintenance, but they can also help in home and insurance management. Some Home Center apps provide homeowners a visual aid regarding tips and tricks about how to protect their home and the people inside it. 

The helpful tips on these apps have wide coverage; it starts with the accident prevention tips, how to prepare for an emergency, and how to maintain your assets in your home or even add value to your house. These visual aids can be infographics or embedded videos on the home center app. 

Home Center

Homeowners can treat these home center apps as a checklist on what to do to maintain your house. Since these home center apps can be integrated with smart systems, they could also recognize patterns and create customized and personalized tips depending on the habits and routines it picks up. 

If you are confused about where you can use Home Center apps, here’s a list we have curated to help you optimize smart home systems:

  • If you are a first-time homeowner or first-time user of the Home Center app, you could use it to answer your questions about owning a house. With Alexa’s skill, it can answer basic to complex questions and search the world wide web for you. You can use the app to ask queries like how often you should clean a piece of certain home equipment, or what would be the most optimal position for a space heater. Aside from asking a question, first-timers can use the app to also search for tips and best ways or practices regarding home owning to protect your home and make it ready and prepared for any accident that may happen.
  • The home center can pick-up routines and patterns, meaning it can create a detailed and personalized tip on how you can protect and maintain your home. If the time comes that you need to quickly know what part of your home needs cleaning, the home center can record when was the last time you cleaned it and remind you or tell you when would be the best time to clean it again. This could be set as a routine and your home app could just remind you every time that time of the month or year comes up.
  • In instances that you need to know a certain safety checklist, your home center app can show it to you through your phone. Or with the help of Alexa, you can just listen to it.
  • The home center app can also serve as your checklist of the things that you still need to do and what you have done. In this way, you can stay on top of your home management and smart home migration. Together with this checklist, the home center app will provide you with tips and again these tips are customized to your preference and routine.
  • In terms of managing your home expenses and policies, there are home center apps that can be integrated with your homeowners’ insurance policies. This only means that insurance companies are starting to use technology to help their clients manage their policies. Home center apps not only make it easier for clients to review their policies, but billing transactions can also be done through the home center app; it could show the homeowner when their bill is due, make requests regarding their insurance policies or accounts, view their insurance details such as account and policy number, and many more. And it gets better, the home center app could remind you that you need to pay your insurance or that your policies need to be renewed soon. This way you don’t need to rush down the insurance office to get things done, you could just do it with your voice through Alexa inside your home. 

Alexa has many skills as a smart assistant, and if your home center mobile application can be integrated with Alexa or other smart assistant’s system it would be a very big help to you both in maintenance and management inside your home.

24/7 Support

If you are having a hard time adding these skills or features to your phone or home center application, you can just ask your smart assistant to do it for you. In terms of home management, your online calendar can be hooked on this smart app and it will help you not just remind you of bills payment due but also remind you of holidays and weather reports for you to prepare your heating systems or cooling systems whichever you would be needing on that certain season or weather. 

As for security, if your smart assistant is already hooked up with your smart devices you can just command it to show you the view of your security cameras or easily pull up a recording from a certain date if you need to look at something; this could act as your security camera, baby camera or pet camera, it all depends on where you want to use it. Alexa’s job is just to listen to your commands and answer your queries. 

If you are hesitating if these smart assistants and home center applications pose a threat to your privacy, there are several tips on the internet on how to keep your smart devices secure both physically and in the cyberworld.

Cyber Security

Hacking is prone to smart home devices; these devices usually come with a default password, make it a habit to change it regularly, advisable 30 to 60 days, and make it strong. It does not have to be complicated, make sure that it passes the standards of a strong password and avoid using passwords that can be easily guessed such as dates of birth or anniversaries. A quick tip on how to create a strong password is for it to have:

  • At least 8 to 15 characters
  • Make the characters alphanumeric
  • Both lowercase and uppercase
  • Special characters

In this way, hackers would have a hard time cracking your smart devices.

Installation

Take note that the role of Alexa in Home Center apps sometimes needs to be installed first. Homeowners would need to add Alexa’s skills to use it on home center apps, also Alexa expands the feature of home center apps by providing it with voice command options. All the tasks that can be done listed above need not be with a tap on the phone, homeowners can just use their voice to say a command on their phone and Alexa would answer back on behalf of the home center app. 

In this way, homeowners optimize both the home center app and Alexa along with the smart home devices that he or she has installed at home. There are other smart assistants that you can use with your phone, but for certain mobile applications that you can install mostly Amazon’s Alexa is what companies integrate their apps with. One of the reasons for this could be that Amazon offers shopping and groceries too, to begin with, and you can use Alexa to do the groceries through Amazon for you.

Managing Your Insurance with Smart Assistants

When it comes to managing your house and home insurance, most agencies make it easy for their clients by using the technology that we already have. Aside from portals online, integrating their accounts on home center apps makes it easier for clients to sync their policies with the assets that they already have at home. 

This makes cross-checking with your insurance policy less hassle. These home center apps also provide homeowners other contact options to their insurance agencies, there are home center applications that give contact details on their application so homeowners could reach out to their agencies through the app itself. 

It could be hard having to manage a house alone, but physically managing it is not all there is. You would need to manage the bills of the utilities that you use inside the house, not to mention the installations and maintenance of the smart home systems that you have at home – or even not the smart home gadgets, even just the regular ones which require more tending and maintenance. But thanks to technology and our generation’s innovators, tedious routines and monotonous patterns at home could be automated and would not be neglected. 

It started out with just our phones reminding us through text notifications or alarms, but now with smart assistants these reminders could actually talk to us and remind us to do tasks such as taxes, bills, grocery shopping, and even laundry. And it does not stop just there, these smart assistants can be added to mobile or web applications that we use every day making it easier for us to be reminded of things that we need to do, and sometimes, they just do it for us as a part of our routine that they have learned through patterns that we associate the smart devices and systems with.

Peace of Mind

Homeowners deserve to have peace of mind. If there is a chance for homeowners to automate any task that they have, they should just grab it. Having a peaceful mind is priceless, integrating smart home systems into your home may need some adjustment but it will only take a short while then if you are used to it, everything will just sail smoothly in your home. You would have one or more things less to worry about since these smart home devices will do the job for you and you can just focus on other things and increase your productivity. 

Aside from eliminating the monotonous and tedious tasks that homeowners have, smart home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and home center mobile applications provide homeowners the help they never knew they needed. As busy as they are, homeowners tend to neglect or forget simple things that need to be attended to in their homes. 

Or sometimes, homeowners simply just do not know that they need to do a certain thing to keep their home safe and secure. Being on top of things is hard, but it should not be. With home center apps and smart assistants, homeowners could manage and maintain everything accordingly. Feel free to seek advice from our independent agents if you do plan on getting upgrades or smart installations in your home here.