As they become more popular smart home devices are also becoming more affordable as well. There's more to it than yelling at a small grey box to send a text to your daughter, too. Smart devices are enabling you to save money on energy, keep an eye on your home, and much much more. So we'll list a few of the nifty new tech that has come up, and how you can use them at home.
Day to Day Help
Options like the Amazon Echo are great for thousands of daily tasks. The Echo is a hands-free speaker that can do much more than just play music. You can ask Alexa (the automated voice of the Echo) to schedule events for you, give you the weather, play an audio book, or even control the other smart devices around your home, like your lights. An example of use could be programming Alexa to dim the lights in your bedroom to 50% and to turn on the tv whenever you say 'get ready for bed'. The options are endless, you simply have to come up with them.
Smart plugs. SMART PLUGS! I'm sorry I yelled at you, but even if all of the other devices seem like too much, smart plugs are ones you need to purchase. There are dozens on the market at this point, making them now significantly more affordable now. They are plugs that go into your normal outlet, but provide the ability to control whatever you plug into them remotely using an app, or a smart home device. An example is the TP-Link Smart Plug which simply needs to be plugged in and connected to your wifi.
Keeping an Eye on Your Front Door
Devices like the Nest Hello Doorbell allow you to to see and communicate with whoever is at your door from your phone. While this is a great lazy lazy alternative from bed, it also proves to be most useful if you aren't at home at all. You can also go back up to three hours to view previous footage in case any tomfoolery has occurred or a package has been stolen.
Now if you're looking to get even more advanced in the realm of door monitoring systems, meet The August Smart Lock. This lock easily attaches to your already existing locking system, and simultaneously connected to your phone. Once set up, it can allow you to use your phone as a key. It can also lock your door behind you when you leave as well as sense your presence and unlock for you and you alone.
Trim Your Energy Bill
Curb Home Energy Monitoring System is a relatively small device that attaches right to your breaker panel. You then download the app to your iOS or android device and it displays a detailed desktop analysis of each items consumption and usage. It also provides real-time energy usage, making it easy to identify and reduce spikes and dips in usage. The only real catch is that is can currently only monitor 18 clamps in your breaker but that seems like a small price to pay overall.
So there are a few smart devices to get you started. Hopefully you'll find at least one that can improve your day-to-day living. Let us know if there's anything you're loving that we've missed.