Home / General Knowledge / The Best New Smart Home Technology of 2017

 

via OhioTechnology seems to make leaps and bounds on a daily basis, and nothing has made home ownership easier than the advances in ‘smart home’ technology over the past decade. What was once unheard of or inconvenient is now realistically possible, from control centers that let us adjust the temperature of our houses from across the world to light bulbs that can be dimmed or switched off via smart phone. With so many new concepts hitting the shelves, it’d be a shame not to take advantage of what technology has to offer homeowners. Below is just a small list of some smart home tech that might be worth checking out:

1. Smart Hubs

If you plan on truly investing in a smart home technology revamp, the most important device is going to be your ‘hub’. Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Staples Connect are all examples of popular mainstream hubs that act as central control units for all the smart home technology devices in your house. While many of these come with their own brand of tech in the form of bundled starting kits, several are capable of linking with third party products as well. This ensures that all of your motion sensors, security cameras, mobile light dimmers, and even your thermostat are accessible remotely; typically, via a smart phone app or website. As new technology pops up, feel free to keep adding more to your hub and soon you’ll have the smartest home in the neighborhood.

2. Smart Switches

One of the easiest, and most innovate ways to make your home smart, is by installing ‘smart plugs’ that let you control various small appliances without needing to be in the room. Since they are easy to use and very affordable, starting at an average of less than $30 per switch, anyone with a smartphone can get in on the convenience of smart home technology. At their most basic, smart plugs will let you control otherwise ‘dumb’ devices, such as a floor lamp or coffee maker, using your smartphone. However, other smart plugs have additional features, such as a built-in Wi-Fi range extender, or provide a running estimate on how much an appliance costs to run on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. While there are some limitations for what kind of control you can have over the appliance there’s no question that home switches will make your life a little bit easier while helping you save money.

3. Smart Smoke Detectors

Between the annoying chirping that signals low battery power to accidentally triggering in response to cooking fumes, smoke detectors can be infuriating. Thankfully, Roost and Nest are two brands (the former owned by Google) that offer a lot of options for alternatives to the traditional smoke detector along with additional smart home flair. The Nest Protect is an all-around thermostat, but the Roost Smart Battery is essentially a lithium battery for your current smoke detector that lets you monitor and control it. In the event that an alarm goes off, you’ll be alerted via the mobile app and given the options to snooze, notify emergency services, or contact a trusted monitor/friend who also has access to the system. If you have interconnected alarms, when one of them sounds, the Roost will alert you, even if its battery isn’t installed in the alarm that went off.

4. Smart Speakers

The most popular example of a true smart home speaker is the Echo by Amazon. This interactive speaker connects to the Internet and taps into Amazon’s universe of services to become a personal assistant that helps you shop, stay up to date on sports and news, and even predict traffic on the way to work. And, in the event that you can’t decide on what to listen to, it can suggest music and stream your Amazon Prime or Pandora play lists. In addition to its voice-recognition tech, the Echo features a 2-inch tweeter and a 2.5-inch woofer to produce well-balanced audio. Let ‘Alexa’, your new virtual assistant, make a difference in your home by purchasing an Echo or one of the other similar branded smart speakers (Google Home and Apple HomePod) today to really get the feel for how technology can influence your home.

 

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