Smart homes, full of connected devices that help make your home more energy efficient
, secure, and convenient, are the way of the future. Here we look at three smart gadgets, and how they can help you live a more comfortable life.
Make your home more secure with a smart door.
You know that panicky feeling you get when you can’t remember if you shut and locked the door? With smart locks and smart garage door openers, you can control and monitor the open/close status of your doors from your smartphone. Left the door unlocked? A couple taps on your phone and you can rest assured that your house is safe from unwanted visitors. Someone ring the doorbell? See who it is from your phone - it’s like having a personal doorman.
- Monitor the status of doors from your smartphone.
- Most devices have a built-in battery that works if the power goes out.
- Many devices serve as video doorbells.
- Average price around $200
Have your own personal assistant for extra convenience.
The butlers of Downton Abbey may have had their day, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t want that sort of service in our modern homes. In the smart home, this comes in the form of the virtual home assistant device.
These devices listen to your voice commands and tell your other smart devices what to do, as well as acting as a handy helper around the house. Need help staying organised? Simply speak a reminder into the air. Hungry? Shout your favourite takeaway order. Leaving for work? Tell your assistant goodbye, and watch as your lights are switched off, your doors are locked and your heating or cooling is set for an empty home. All without pushing a button.
These devices come in all sorts of designs, from inconspicuous boxes for your shelf, to smart watches you can wear.
- Most devices network with other smart home devices.
- Most devices act with, or as, portable speakers.
- Most devices connect to your other apps and services to act as a command point for anything you’ll need to do.
- Average price around $200
Be more informed on your utility usage.
Imagine if you could know, right away, that you have leaking pipes costing you money and damaging your house. Or that your game console ‘sleep mode’ really was a serious power hog. Smart utility monitors allow you to do just that.
These devices connect directly to your pipes and power outlets to continually monitor usage and alert you of problem areas. With this data, they create reports and instant notifications to help you make more informed and timely decisions about your utility usage. The small investment in these gadgets can save you hundreds in wasted electricity, and thousands in the event of water leaks. Clever.
- Most devices are plug and play (don’t need reconfiguration or adjustment) and are operated via a smartphone app.
- Most devices log and create reports of your utility usage.
- Most devices offer alerts and give you some control over the areas they monitor remotely.
- Average Price: $75