How to Upgrade to a Smart Home
"Ok Google"... "Hey Siri"... "Alexa, can you"...
Many people these days tend to have smart devices within reach at all times: whether in their hand, or on their wrist, or on their lap. From security, to entertainment, climate control, cooking or novelty, there are numerous reasons why someone might utilize technology to make their home “smarter”. Increasingly so, residents use "smart" products to integrate pieces of technology with their homes, in the hopes of making life easier and their living spaces more efficient.
Video recording doorbell devices can be helpful to monitor the entrance to your home, as they can provide a live look at who is at your door. Tracking package arrivals or having a record of unwelcome visitors via your phone adds a heightened sense of security to your home, starting from the doorstep.
Popular Brands: Ring, Google Nest Hello, Arlo, Simplisafe
Motion sensored cameras are great options to supervise particular areas of your home when you’re not around. Most can be viewed 24/7 via live stream, and some even have 2 way microphones so you can give instructions or tell people to back off your personal stuff.
Popular Brands: Dropcam, Blink, Nest, Simplisafe
With digitally enhanced deadbolts, knowing you can control your locks from anywhere provides peace of mind, as well as convenience, in case you ever don’t have your physical key on your person. Some electronic locks even have integrated cameras, fingerprint scanners, or alarms, protecting your home from a variety of threats.
Popular Brands: Yale, August, Lockly, Schlage, Kwikset, Simplisafe
Window and door sensors can provide homeowners with alerts from the front line of defense against their properties. These systems activate alarms and send alerts to the user’s phone when entryways are broken or opened when they aren’t supposed to.
Popular Brands: Simplisafe
Besides keeping your property and loved ones secure, some smart devices help maintain a comfortable environment inside your dwelling.
Wifi enabled thermostats connect your air conditioning, fans, or heating systems to your mobile devices, allowing for precise control over the interior atmosphere of your home. Whether it’s from the couch or across the globe, you can digitally set or schedule the air flow in your house to meet your exact needs.
Popular Brands: Nest, Honeywell, Ecobee
Smart “smoke” and “carbon monoxide” detectors help ensure safe breathability within your home by alerting users if their air becomes toxic. Besides sounding a local alarm, the devices send mobile notifications, so even if you are away from home, you can call the fire department to help remedy the situation as soon as possible.
Popular Brands: Simplisafe, Nest, Onelink
Feeling the desire to upgrade the ambiance of your fireplace? Look no further than a smart fireplace to entice your family and guests to sit together and converse about the modernity of the times we live in. With the ability to be switched on or off with the tap of a button from your mobile device, or a vocal request to your “smart” assistant, smart fireplaces are truly housewarming, and have the potential to be a holiday spectacle.
Popular Brands: iFlame, Touchstone
One of the most popular uses for “smart” devices is to stream entertainment.
Smart TVs or streaming devices make it easy to cast media from one device to another. Simply connect the devices to the same Wifi network, and videos, photos, or apps can be displayed with ease. Each mobile device and streaming service is different, so make sure your devices are compatible with each other and see which setup works best for your needs.
Popular Brands: Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, Roku TV, Apple TV
Smart speakers allow you to play music wirelessly in as many different locations as you have devices. Some even have voice control, and can play music on verbal command.
Popular Brands: Sonos, Bose
Virtual assistants tie everything together by integrating with multiple other smart devices. Users can ask questions, set timers, add information to lists such as contacts or reminders, place and receive calls, or play music on demand.
Popular Brands: Google Nest, Amazon Echo/Alexa,
Tired of guessing when your food is perfectly cooked, or dislike trailing wires across the counter? Smart cooking probes make preparing food much more precise, as users can connect the device to a mobile app giving them detailed information about the optimal heat levels within their food. Whether you’re making chicken, beef, veggies, or tofu, these devices monitor the exact temperatures to help you achieve culinary excellence.
Popular Brands: Meater, Yummly
At the store and forgot what you need to stock up on? Smart refrigerators with internal cameras can help you see what you have, or don’t have, when you’re away from home. Some models have video displays that show important notifications or even stream entertainment.
Popular Brands: Samsung, LG
Want to have your home’s natural lighting exposure on a schedule? Adding some smart devices to your curtain rods can automate your windows, allowing you to control the amount of sunlight you’re receiving from your phone. Whether you want to wake up to a gradual sunrise or need to cover up for some privacy, smart curtains are a fast and easy way to add some function to the fashion of your home.
Popular Brands: Switchbot, Somfy Shades
Dream of setting your phone on a counter and picking it up with a higher battery level? Look into a wireless charging conversion kit, allowing for any surface less than an inch thick to give power to your phone.
Popular Brands: Kew Labs UTS-1
*This data is compiled from public information and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.