How smart is your home? Is it equipped with new technology to protect it, to make living simpler and more comfortable? Take a peek at some interesting innovations that can add value to your home and improve quality of life for you and your family.
Thanks to the tireless techies out there, constantly striving to develop new and improved gadgets, we can feel safer and live smarter in our own homes. We take a look at some smart technology for the home – devices that amaze, simplify, and add an extra layer of security to keep you, your family and your home safer and more comfortable.
1. Nest Learning Thermostat: The third generation of this product is now available; it is a Wi-Fi enabled device that lets you control the temperature within your home remotely from your phone, tablet and so on. You can come home to a house as warm or as cold as you need it to be. The device can help to save on heating and cooling bills, shows you the temperature when you walk into the room, turn itself down when you leave for work and generally keeps you comfy.
2. The Philips Hue Bulb: You can now personalize your home lighting to suit your family’s lifestyle and your mood. You can find the starter kit on Amazon, which includes three bulbs and what is known as a Hue Bridge, which can control up to 50 bulbs (which you can buy separately as well). You can control the lighting from your phone: set up a morning wakeup call, let your lights brighten gradually over time and even create a sunrise effect. You can turn your lights on and off remotely and you can set them to switch on at a set time each day so you always come home to a lighted house.
3. Google Chromecast: Don’t have a Smart TV? No worries – Google Chromecast or similar HDMI sticks will transform your regular TV into one. This little gadget plugs into the USB port of your TV and lets you stream movies, videos and anything else from your phone, both online and offline. The device is compatible with Android and Apple devices and lets you stream Netflix, YouTube videos, games such as Angry Birds and shows such as ‘Friends’ as well.
4. Logitech Harmony Home Control: This device lets you control up to eight of your home automation devices such as your home theater, game consoles, and devices listed at No. 1 and 2 above. If you have automated lights or even blinds, this can work to control those. It can also control your TV, cable box and similar Wi-Fi enabled devices.
5. Anova Precision Cooker: This kitchen aid lets you cook in a completely different way. It is something called Low-Temperature Immersion Circulator Cuisine. This rod-like device is immersed into a cooking pot and clamped to the edge. It connects to your smartphone and lets you send instructions remotely to start cooking. You put your food in a Ziploc bag, set the temperature and time and instruct the device to start cooking. It then circulates water around the pot and slow cooks your food. Food is cooked evenly and remains juicy because it doesn’t lose moisture. Overcooking is prevented. You can also buy the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker Cookbook to help you navigate this strange new type of cooking.
6. Connected speakers from Sirena Tech: Choral 1 Singing Aurora from Sirena Tech are smart LED Wi-Fi speakers that put music and light at your fingertips. This provides multi-room audio, music streaming from a phone or a tablet, app control, multi-colored LED and light control as well. There are several variations with different features available.
7. Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera: Set up is quick and painless, the images sharp with a wide field of view, zoom and night vision functionality. Two-way talk, scheduling, intelligent alerts and connections to mobile and web apps are other user-friendly features. This camera monitoring system has cloud video recording capability, lets you make clips, securely records up to 30 days of footage, and lets you save and share clips as required.
8. Smart lock and padlock systems: No matter what type of door locking you use, there is a smart locking device out there for you to secure your home:
- 9. Noke Smart Lock-less padlock can be opened with your phone. It looks like a regular ‘tala’ but needs no key; instead it opens using an Android or Apple app. Replaceable battery and hardened steel boron handles make this device quite user friendly.
- 10. Ultraloq UL3 Fingerprint and Touchscreen Keyless Smart Lever Door Lock is a smart looking locking device with a keypad, OLED display and a handle that goes on to your door. This is a three-in-one, keyless entry, fingerprint-smart lock that can work with 95 codes and 95 fingerprints. The reversible lever fits left and right-handed doors, is weatherproof, has a long battery life and a low battery alarm.
- 11. August Connect is another smart lock option. It lets you remotely lock and unlock your door so you can ‘buzz’ people in. You can do this safely even if you’re away from home and have guests. The device also lets you know when someone enters or leaves your home, so this may be a great option for parents who want to monitor their kids’ goings and comings.
- The Kwikset Premis Touchscreen Smart Lock, Apple HomeKit Enabled is yet another option for the security-conscious homeowner. It lets you use Siri voice control to check lock history, remotely lock and unlock through Apple TV. The latch has an adjustable backset, Secure Screen, optional auto lock and has Smart Key re-key tech compatible with Kwikset. However this device is not compatible with Android devices.
These technologically advanced gadgets can be fascinating and may captivate your interest much like a new toy would attract a child. It is up to you however, to check whether these devices are physically compatible with your home and whether they fit in with your lifestyle. Do your research properly prior to purchase. Remember these are expensive gadgets and you don’t want to suffer buyer’s remorse later!