These days it seems like we just need to accept that we live in a combination of Star Trek and The Jetsons. It all started in 2002 with the Roomba — a clunky little device that would roam around and vacuum your floors without any effort on your part, except to set it free when it got stuck in a corner. Now? The advancement of IoT, or the “Internet of Things”, can have your entire house wired to communicate between devices, entirely controlled by your phone. These appliances are things you’d have in your home anyway (like your oven or refrigerator), just… smarter. If you’re ready to uplevel your home’s intelligence, have a look at these smart home devices.
Start with a smart home system
A big part of what allows smart devices to truly make your life easier is their interconnectivity, starting with using a smart home system like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, the Wink Hub, or the highly integrative SmartThings Hub by Samsung. The smart system, usually controlled by voice command, is where you can implement timers, set programs (like having the lights slowly turn on, music cued, and your coffee pot start brewing at 6 am), and connect a wide array of smart devices and appliances into one seamless platform. The Alexa platform has the most integrations currently, but Wink and SmartThings don’t have a particular brand loyalty — meaning they can link up with Alexa or Google Home’s Assistant. Apple Smart Home devices may only be compatible with certain products because of the Apple/Android split, whereas Google smart home devices can’t access certain products managed by Amazon — so be sure you do your research if certain functions are important to you.
Large-scale home automation
Smart gadgets are fun and all, but the best smart home devices are the ones that help out on a larger scale. Think security systems, smart thermostats, and smart plugs that let you turn lights or other devices on and off with one voice command or tap on your phone. These systems can give you peace of mind when you’re away from home by ensuring the doors are locked and your home is secure, automatically turning your lights on and then off during the evening hours, or even monitoring your home with automatic cameras that can display on your tablet or phone wherever you are. Smart plugs give you the option to turn just about anything into a “smart device” by automating the power supply — light fixtures being the most popular.
Smart home appliances
No longer do you need to worry that you loaded up the dishwasher but forgot to run it — open up your all-in-one app, tell it what type of wash cycle you want, and hit “go”. Then navigate to your washing machine (it was a busy morning!) and do the same. Today’s smart home appliances have made it so that walking out the door doesn’t mean the end of your in-home productivity, and those of us who tend to be a little forgetful can get a little support from our tech. Your smart appliances can even help ensure that you don’t burn dinner or overcook the roast chicken. So if you decided not to move your appliances to your new home and are headed out shopping, look for the smarter options.
Moving into a new smart home or upgrading your current abode can mean making your life easier, automating simple tasks, and clearing up more headspace for what matters most: the rest of your life.