5 Gadgets You Need to Have in Your Home This Year
It’s 2018, and while you may be caught up on technology, chances are your home isn’t. The phone in your pocket is just as powerful as the computer on your desk, your watch records all of your fitness data and lets you know how healthy or unhealthy you are being. Your car charges your phone, takes your calls wirelessly, and lets you play your own music through the speakers.
You might even have entertainment in the back seat for the kiddos. However, in your home, although you may have a 4K TV, and the latest streaming devices, chances are you are missing some key gadgets that could not only make your life easier but save you money and make your house a cool place to visit.
Voice First Device
A voice first device is something like the Amazon Echo, the Google Home device, and the Apple Home Pod. These devices, like your phone, use a service like Hey Google, Hey Siri, or Alexa to listen to your requests, play music, search for things you are looking for, and even ordering products online.
Regardless of the type of device you get, the results can be similar (although not identical). Alexa has things called “skills” that allow you to ask her to perform certain actions, just as Siri integrates with certain devices. Google does the same thing, integrating with devices and services to provide you with the results you are looking for.
Each excels at different things: Google is better at raw search, Amazon is better at shopping (logically) and Siri is a more refined virtual assistant. However, each device can interact with smart devices throughout your home, things you should also have in your house.
Okay, so you lost your keys, and you are rushing out the door in ten minutes. They could be anywhere. Or with a Bluetooth tracker, you could know exactly where they are. These little devices can be attached to almost anything you lose regularly: keys, remote controls, glasses (if you put them in the case) and even external hard drives and thumb drives.
These devices are not all the same, but most come with an app you install on your phone, and if your Bluetooth is activated, whatever you attached it to is discoverable, and you can pinpoint its location almost exactly.
Want to save money and add some security to your home? Smart lights may well be the answer. The Phillips Hue line is one of the best, with dimmable bulbs you can control through a master control center since the bulbs themselves aren’t smart enough to have their own security.
From your phone, no matter where you are you can turn lights on and off, dim them, and even set them to a random pattern to deter thieves when you are not at home. The devices have their own app or often integrate with apps like Apple Home Kit, which allows you to control multiple brands of devices from a single app.
Leave that light on in the living room and are already snuggled in bed? Tell your voice first home device to turn it off for you. Besides that, you can freak out your kids when you are not home. Who doesn’t want that?
A Smart Thermostat
If you don’t have one of these yet, it is one of the first smart devices you should have. You can turn the heating or cool up and down from a distance, when you are headed home or if you forget when you leave. In some cases, you can even set alerts and sensors that will change temperatures when you are close to home.
Going beyond programmable thermostats, these take things a step further and allow you to change programming, adjust temperatures remotely, and most also integrate with your voice first smart home device so you can verbally change the temperature as well.
This device has the potential to save you money, adjusting temperatures and saving you power when you are not home, and giving you the peace of mind that you can alter the temperature from anywhere, and even monitor it to determine whether or not the program is running the way you want it to.
Security cameras have gotten smaller and better than they ever have been, and most will integrate with Wi-Fi systems or even cellular. Coupled with motion sensors and door sensors, you can be alerted through an app if there is unusual activity at your home, and you can even look at the cameras live through your mobile device.
This not only adds a new peace of mind, but it can prevent false alarms and unnecessary emergency calls. If the motion sensor is triggered by a bird or an animal, you will know before an emergency call is made. You can act as your own security company from nearly anywhere.
In the long run, all of these gadgets are designed to save you time, money, and energy. Used properly, these gadgets not only make your home a safer place that is better for the environment, but promotes it from retro to tech-cool. Grab these gadgets this year to make your home the best it can be.