We have all heard about the fast-approaching arrival of the Smart Home for a couple of years now, but technology finally seems to have reached a point where that inflection point is not too far away. Amazon found a novel and innovative way to get inside people’s home with its ‘hands-free wireless speaker’ Echo. Of course, as we know now, Echo is much more than just a speaker and harnesses the power of Amazon’s AI to put itself at the centre of your connected home.
The reason why Amazon was able to achieve this feat was because it opened up its virtual assistant, Alexa, to be able to work with connected devices from a number of companies. This number keeps on increasing every day and thus, Alexa keeps on learning new tricks long after it first enters your house.
Google is also taking a similar path now by making its protocol for Internet of Things (IoT) open source. Nest, which was acquired by Google last year, has found success hard to come by under new leadership. A big reason for this could be the closed proprietary standards that the products followed as of now.
The products were secure and worked well with other company products but just did not have the range or versatility that other connected products on the market did.
So what are some of the best smart home products that you can buy to help you save time, money and well, just make your home a lot cooler?
There are a lot of smart lighting solutions in the market right now, but the Phillips Hue continues to be the best option for the quality of its product and the ease of use. The smartphone app is a pleasure to use and allows you to set timers to automatically switch off lights, change the brightness or even color under certain conditions, basically transforming the nature of a room without any effort at all. Phillips Hue is not the cheapest option on the market, but one that we recommend wholeheartedly.
We have not quite reached where the Jetsons were at but having a robotic minion cleaning your house and keeping it secure is within the reach of anyone who chooses! Roomba was the first company to really make commercial cleaning robots a reality by making them smart enough to be useful and not need any oversight.
Other companies have now started to close the gap and one model particularly caught our eye was the LG Turbo+. It is a small, powerful cleaning robot that doubles up as security for your home as well. It is equipped with a camera and can sense movement around the house sending screenshots of the house to your mobile device. It also cleans a mean floor!
Homeowners or even smart tenants have the option of installing a smart lock on their doors and basically never having to worry about a key ever again. You can also grant access to people when you are not in the house without having to give them a key and ensure that they are only there when you want them to be. The August Smart Lock is one product that fits over your existing deadbolt and does not require any special modification to the premises.
Google announced its own smart wireless speaker designed to be the focal point of your smart home but up until it arrives, Amazon’s Echo is the one device to rule them all. It is extremely easy to use, surprisingly capable, works with a variety of streaming services, smart gadgets, lighting appliances, orders from amazon and even finds the answer to any trivia that you might have. Having one of these around will make life much easier for you.