Updating your home can be fun—especially with all of today’s smart technology that’s out there. In our last blog we explored five smart home technology products for you to consider. Here are our other five favorite new home technology gadgets. (See Part 1 here.)
If you’re like most people, you have a hard-wired smoke or CO2 alarm with battery backup that tends to chirp at 2am to replace the battery. How annoying! Well, this handy little device fits into any CO2 or smoke detector instantly making it a smart alarm! It’s shaped like a regular 9V battery, is replaceable and lasts for five or more years. With the Roost app you can get low-battery notifications and alerts when your alarm goes off. If it’s a false alarm—like you burned the toast—you can turn off the alarm with your phone. Now that’s a gadget that gives you peace-of-mind!
Everyone was amazed when the invention of the slow cooker came along. Well, astonishingly, Wemo has come up with the first smart slow cooker so your dinner can be adjusted from wherever you are! All you need is an iOS or Android to use the Wemo app. Before going to work, put your ingredients in and with the app create a cook-time schedule and select a temperature; if you’re going to be late returning home, you can alter the cooking temperature or time to suit your needs or switch it to “warm”. Another fantastic feature is you can check on your dinner’s progress during the day by viewing the temperature or remaining time and the app will even send notifications to your phone when the cooker has turned off or the meal is done. You’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal with practically no effort on your part!
Like all refrigerators today, the Samsung Family Hub includes adjustable shelves, a water dispenser, bins, an ice maker, an alarm if a door is left open and a water filter. But what makes this fridge a huge step above the rest is its adjustable wine rack and it’s Wi-Fi enabled! You won’t have to waste energy anymore by keeping the door open to see what you have; using its enormous touchscreen you have the ability to check out what items you need to put on your grocery list thanks to the three built-in cameras inside. You won’t forget to pick up the bread after work either because whenever you close the Family Hub door it snaps a picture and automatically sends it to your phone. How cool is that? You can also leave notes for family members, play music via TuneIn or Pandora, look at family members’ schedules, watch TV and even order groceries. If that’s not enough, there’s an excellent feature called Flex Zone in which the right, bottom door can be utilized however you choose—as a freezer or fridge; all you have to do is change the temperature settings. Wow!
Oh no, you forgot to shut the lights off before leaving again! With this Philips Hue that won’t be a problem anymore. This cool starter kit has a hub that can be connected to other smart home products and comes with two LED light bulbs; you can even add up to 50 LED light bulbs on this hub. Using the Philips Hue app through your smartphone or tablet, you’ll have the ability to control your home’s lights even when you’re not there; set up schedules for your lights to turn on and off—even have rooms light at different times; and dim the lights with the system’s controls or wirelessly using a smart device. The Hue works with home systems such as Nest, IFTT, Apple HomeKit and Google Home—it even pairs with Alexa so you can control your lights with a simple verbal command.
Once your house is filled with smart home gizmos, you’ll need a system to unite and maintain control of them. This hub has a battery backup and allows you to control, secure and monitor your smart home with ease. SmartThings links and wirelessly controls many smart gadgets such as locks, outlets, lights, thermostats, speakers, sensors and others using the free SmartThings app via your Android, iOS or Windows phone. You’ll not only get notifications of what’s going on around and in your home but, from your smartphone, you’ll be able to control your home’s energy usage, security, lighting and more. With the app you can add well-known ZigBee, Z-Wave or other internet-linked products or sensors to improve your home. You even have the power to teach your house what to do while you’re away, asleep or just chilling at home!
There are some really magnificent devices in this list, right? True, it’s not a complete list of everything out there—like smart lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners—but it’s a good start! This all might sound like something from a science fiction movie, but it’s not—it’s the Internet of Things (IoT) and it’s all becoming a major part of smart homes. Please contact us if you need more details on how to transform your home into a smart home.