As technology progresses our lives become easier and simplified, but it can seem as if there is so much Smart Home tech that it’s impossible to keep up with it all. This guide is a collection of the latest and greatest technology that compliments any home and is easy enough to use for those who are new to Smart Home technology.
Meet Alexa, your new artificially intelligent assistant who can be asked to do just about anything. Originally released in 2014, Amazon has only improved upon its original model of smart speakers. The Echo line of smart speakers powered by Alexa has now progressed to the Echo Show, a device equipped with dual speakers and a 7” screen for your viewing and listening pleasure.
The Echo collection ranges from $50-$230. Alexa can be asked to turn other Smart devices on and off, but that’s just the beginning. She can make appointments, play music on command, answer questions, and even play games. No Smart Home is complete without one.
What is a Smart Plug? The iHome Smart Plug allows for any device that is plugged into it to be controlled directly on a smartphone or tablet. iHome has an easy to operate app that displays all of your Smart Plugs and devices in one place. Imagine being out of town or simply away from your home and want to turn on a few lights so you don’t come back to a dark house, or for those times you want the lights on for security.
iHome Smart Plugs offer this solution with just a touch of a button on your smartphone, so you can skip the old-fashioned timers your parents used back in the day that never seemed to work with this simple yet necessary upgrade. iHome Smart Plugs cost about $25-$30 and can be found in retail stores or online.
For homeowners looking for added security, SkyBell HD is a game-changer. With an easy to navigate app, you can see, hear, and talk to whoever is at your door, sending you an alert once SkyBell is rung. Now, you can feel safer when you’re out of town by still answering the door on your smartphone, giving the impression that someone is inside.
You can leave your kids at home alone with a sense of security, knowing that SkyBell will monitor victors at the door, who will be none the wiser when you respond to them on the app and aren’t actually there. SkyBell HD is available online for $199.
SimpliSafe is a do-it-yourself approach to a home security system that is customized to your needs and just as easy to set up—what more could you ask for? Don’t mess with an expensive security company that you are forced to rely on when a keypad goes awry, instead opt for SimpliSafe, which skips the keypad and opts for a basic and easy to use app instead.
You can sign up for a free quote on a package that’s right for your home on their official website, and subscriptions start at $168 for 6 months.
Everyone knows that older homes are tricky when it comes to regulating temperatures, especially if you don’t have newer windows to help. The Nest Thermostat isn’t just for older homes, though, any home can benefit from having a smart thermostat.
The Nest will dramatically change the way your thermostat is used and even learn your habits the longer it exists in your house by adjusting the temperatures for when your family is at home and when they are away. The Nest will analyze your energy output and help you save on your monthly energy bills, even sending you updates and suggestions on your progress.
No more going downstairs in the middle of the night to adjust the temperature, now you can do it right from your phone.
When Roomba came onto the market, it seems as if the age of Smart Home devices truly had begun. A self-cleaning robot is almost too good to be true, but here it exists, only to be better designed than ever before.
Schedule your iRobot to clean on a daily basis if you so choose, use your Smart Home hub like Alexa to send your Roomba out on a job or send it home, and use the tower stands to direct Roomba away from certain areas. Roomba is available in an array of different styles from around $170-$299, and even has one that specializes in cleaning up after your furry friends.
Take one step out of your lawn care routine with Rachio Smart Sprinkler, a unique and intuitive system that can create customized zones for your lawn, suggest and maintain schedules, and of course, offer complete control with a remote on your smartphone.
Let Anova Culinary Precision Cooker do the cooking for you. Using the app on your smartphone, you can select whatever food you want to cook and with the press of a button, this Precision Cooker will cook your food to sous vide perfection. For master chefs or those not accustomed to working in the kitchen and are after a quick, no-prep meal, the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker is the perfect Smart Home accessory.
A pack of these Phillips Hue Smart Bulbs goes a long way—and we mean that in the sense that they seem to last much longer than a regular light bulb and give you the freedom to command your hub to turn them on and off at your will.
Lying in bed at night, you may be hit with the realization you left a light on, well with Smart Bulbs, you can easily check your smartphone to see if this is the case or just shout to Amazaon Alexa or Google Home to turn them off. Set groups, themes, and schedules with the simplified companion app. A starter pack runs about $150, an investment you wonder how you lived without it for so long.
Every tech-central list has a ridiculous Smart Home device, and this is it. Husqvarna Automower is like Roomba, but for your lawn. This Smart Home gadget has received praiseworthy reviews, and it should for its high price tag. For about $1,500, you can have a robot mow your lawn for you, but perhaps waiting a few years on this Smart Home device is a wise decision, as the prices tend to drop over time.
Setting up a Smart Home isn’t something that happens overnight. If at this point you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the gadgets and gizmos available to make your life easier then start small. Smart Bulbs and Smart Plugs are a great place to begin your Smart Home at because they are simple and easy to use.
A Smart Home Assistant from Google, Amazon, or Apple can be a fun addition while also extraordinarily helpful in managing and maintaining your corresponding devices. Whatever nuance of homeownership annoys you, frustrates you, or takes up unnecessary amounts of time, there is likely a Smart Home accessory to remedy it.
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