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Smart Home Technology Can Be Overwhelming, But Doesn't Have To Be

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The holiday hustle and bustle is upon us. If you're too busy to go grocery shopping, clean your house, or cook dinner, you might dream of hiring an assistant.

There's a new trend in Pittsburgh that's helping families maximize the growing popularity of voice-guided digital assistants, like Amazon's Alexa.

Smart Home Elves is a company that comes into your home to install, educate, and streamline. Essentially, they transform an ordinary house into a teched-out Smart Home.

KDKA's Kym Gable caught up with Smart Home Elves during a recent installation in Mt. Lebanon.

"When I walked into this house, there was Alexa right on the table," said Smart Home Elves founder Micah Rosa. "They said, 'Well, we ask her a joke every now and then.' But, she's so powerful. She can control everything."

The Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other gadgets are popular gifts, but retail experts say millions of those gifts will go unopened because the recipients simply don't know how to integrate them into their lives.

"I love the technology as much as they do. It's just, I can't spend all the time to learn Siri and all that stuff, so a lot of the times, we just do the basics," homeowner Doug Harhai said.

From the busy, to the unwilling, to the fearful, Micah helps families welcome and train their new "family members."

Speaking to someone like Alexa, or Google Home, or Siri, or Cortana, it brings it to a personal level and makes it familiar. It makes it start to feel like an extra member of the family.

"If this wasn't here, none of this would have happened," said Beth Harhai. "Maybe our kids would have gotten to it, but we wouldn't even know what to pick."

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