Now that smartphones and tablets have become commonplace, and wearables aren’t far behind, the next step in taking full advantage of the technology available to you is to bring enhanced capabilities into a place where you spend a large part of your time – your home. Connected products aren’t a new thing, and we’ve seen the surge of “The Internet of Everything,” but these products are becoming more refined, easier to use, more effective, and more affordable. Here are some of the most popular ways to turn your ordinary home into a smart home.
One of the most popular smart-products available for your home is connected thermostats. There are various brands out there that offer a smart solution to your heating and cooling needs, but one of the more popular devices that you’ve most likely heard of is the Nest thermostat. Nest not only allows you to control the temperature of your home from wherever you may be (with an internet connection that is,) but it also can learn your routines over a short period of time, and make automatic adjustments. No more forgetting to bump up the A.C. before heading to bed.
How much time do you spend double, or even triple checking that you’ve cut all the lights off before leaving for work? And, once your down the road, there’s no turning back if you forgot one. Connected lighting solves this issue for you. There are a couple of ways you can manage this. Smart power outlets such as the Pivot Power Genius or the Belkin WeMo outlet all you to connect your lighting and control them remotely, or you can even invest in something a little more convenient -smart bulbs. A favorite among smart bulb fans are the Phillips Hue bulbs which allow you to turn lights on and off, program a light schedule, and even adjust the color of the lights. The downside? Their a little pricy – $60 a pop. For the more price conscious consumer, GE is launching their smart bulb, Link in the fall. The capabilities don’t include color adjustment, but you can get your hands on these for around $30 a piece.
When it comes to the safety and security of you and your family, there’s no such thing as too much help. Again, alarm systems have been around for a while now, but some of the more impressive, modern solutions include devices that can learn and adapt to your lifestyle. Canary, an all-in-one home monitoring device, gives users piece of mind while they’re away with an HD camera and multiple sensors including motion, temperature, humidity, noise and even air quality. Canary monitors you daily routines and sends notifications to your phone if it detects something out of the ordinary. It also knows when you are home so it won’t send unnecessary notifications.
Remember that nifty thermostat we talked about earlier? Well, Nest also makes Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector that seamlessly integrates with your Nest thermostat. Some highlights of the product include a human voice that tells you where the danger is in the house, warnings that allow you to dismiss an alarm before it goes off, and a light ring that indicates the device’s battery status instead of a chirp.
So, as you can see, there are tons of options out there when it comes to transitioning your ordinary home into a smart home. It’s all about what is important to you, and how you can take advantage of some of these solutions to live life just a little bit more efficiently.
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