Did you grow up watching the Jetsons, anticipating a future of robot maids, prepared food that materialized out of nowhere, and flying cars?
If you’re still longing for a home that’s more like Epcot Center than the Flintstones, look no further than today’s next generation of smart home ideas. They may just make you feel like you’ve finally gone back to the future.
While there may not be a Rosie or personal flying vehicle in your near future, the latest round of smart home technologies provides immense convenience and cutting-edge technologies. Some of these gadgets will seriously impress you!
Read on to learn more about the must-have tools for today’s smart home.
Home Automation Devices
Let’s start by considering the possibilities when it comes to a technological home. What if your living space could be filled with cool home gadgets that made your life easier and kept you and your family safer? What if these could all be connected home products, meaning they could all be controlled via the internet or an automation hub?
And we’re not just talking about home gadgets such as computers and smartphones here. We mean products such as:
- cooking utensils
- water heaters
- window blinds
- and more
These items could then communicate with you, relaying important information as well as receiving it.
If this sounds too good to be true, think again. Smart home technology has come a long way, and it’s taking home interiors by storm. Don’t get left out in the cold when it comes to updating your home.
There’s no better time to make your house safer, more energy efficient, and more comfortable. How does smart home tech operate?
Let’s say you’re away on vacation and you want to make sure your living room blinds get closed when you know afternoon glare proves most damaging to your home furnishings. Does that mean you’re out of luck? Nope, with smart technology, you would communicate with the window shades closing them with a press of a button or voice command.
The same goes for pet feeders, lights, air conditioners, and more… The possibilities don’t end there. You can also remotely monitor your home by accessing onsite surveillance cameras to check on your pets.
But that’s just the beginning…
Home automation technology has come a long way over the past couple of decades. It’s smarter than ever and genuinely useful. Here’s a list of some of our favorite time saving and stress-reducing devices.
The Future of Windows
In the midst of a crazy-busy day, do you ever forget to close the blinds before leaving the house? Or, maybe you’ve got a set of blinds located in a hard-to-reach place? Then, motorized blinds present the perfect solution.
With the simple touch of a button, you can use an app attached to your shades to make them close for the day. Automated blinds give you optimal control over how much light you let into your house and how much other people get to see of it. They also prove energy efficient.
After all, you can control how much sunlight is getting inside your home at various times of the year. If it’s winter, and your home could use the extra warming, make the adjustment with a simple touch of the control. If it’s summer, and you want to keep your house as cool as possible, you can program your blinds to remain closed during the sunniest times of the day.
If you’ve got small children, you understand that the long cords on blinds present a serious safety hazard. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they rank among the top hidden dangers for children and can even harm pets. But an automated system takes the danger out of your blinds by removing the necessity of cords altogether.
Motorized blinds are easy to use and can be controlled with a remote control onsite and a smartphone or a Bluetooth-enabled device offsite. Blinds and Designs offers many options to bring your windows into the future.
The Future of Home Security
Do you jump every time the doorbell rings? Or, hate second-guessing whether you want to answer the door at all? If you’d like to stop checking the peephole all day, it’s time to invest in the Nest Hello Doorbell.
It comes with a built-in HD video camera, which means you can see who’s ringing from your smartphone screen. That way, you’ll immediately know whether it’s the pizza delivery man, the UPS driver with a package, or the neighbor’s kids pulling another prank. What’s more, it includes a built-in speaker and microphone, so you can find out who’s at the door and whether or not you want to answer.
Whether day or night, the pictures you get prove high-quality, so you’ll never be left guessing who’s standing on your welcome mat. Even on busy streets, the microphone and speaker work excellently, which means you’ll have a clear, intelligible conversation, too. Your front door remains one of the most critical points of home security, and the Nest Hello Doorbell helps you make more informed decisions before opening it.
Regarding surveillance cameras for your home, you’ll want to check out iSmartAlarm’s iCamera Keep Pro. A fully loaded home surveillance camera, it can stand alone or augment a DIY security system manufactured by the same company.
What’s so great about the camera? It comes with motion detection, sound detection, mechanical pan and tilt, a time-lapse feature, and event-triggered recording. You can integrate it into other If This Then That (IFTTT) devices, and it includes an SD card slot and free cloud storage providing you more options for record keeping.
The Future of Automation Hubs
The Amazon Echo Family remains one of the best hands-free speakers on the market, and if you haven’t already started using one, it will definitely give you that Jetsons feel. Just speak up, and the appliance will send and receive texts, make calls, play music, describe the weather, turn appliances on and off, and so much more.
Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, powers the Echo, and it features a Bluetooth speaker. Alexa boasts IFTTT technology, which allows you to create different scenarios to control smart appliances in your house. While it takes a little getting used to, you can basically control all of your connected home products with it.
If you prefer a touchscreen for your interaction with Alexa, invest in the Echo Spot or Echo Show. If you already have speakers, then use the economical Echo Dot to augment them with Alexa functionality.
But what if you’re looking for something different? Check out the Wink Hub 2. It works with a wide variety of devices including:
- Lutron Clear Connect
The Wink Hub 2 comes with the distinction of being the most reliable hub currently on the market. It’s widely supported, and it’s compatible with just about everything in contemporary smart home tech.
The Future of Thermostats
Would you like to return to a home that’s energy efficient and a comfortable temperature all day long? The Ecobee4 does the trick. It comes with a sleek design and can be integrated into Amazon’s Alexa.
The Ecobee4 allows you to control the temperature of your house remotely. It comes with motion-activated sensors from room-to-room so that the temperature remains optimally adjusted when a new area of the house gets occupied.
Its remote sensor also helps reduce those notorious hot and cold spots that houses suffer from by controlling temperatures throughout. It proves easy to use and can be operated from your smartphone.
The Future of Lighting
Lighting proves an affordable way to ease into smart home technology. The Philips Hue line of bulbs lets you control the color and intensity of your home lighting. It’s compatible with IFTTT, Alexa, and Siri, and it provides excellent control over the level of lighting.
What if you find the color options a bit irrelevant to your home esthetic? You’ll be amazed by the level of control you have over lighting levels even if you stick with their budget-friendly white bulbs.
However, if changing the color of your lighting proves intriguing, consider the Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color. It doesn’t provide nearly as many features as the Philips Hue line. But it offers a choice of over 16 million different colors.
It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. And you don’t need a hub to make the system work. You can conveniently control it with a touch of your smartphone.
Smart Home Ideas
From automated blinds to color-changing lighting, you’ve never had more choices when it comes to smart home ideas. A technological home comes with many advantages, from added security to increased energy efficiency. And many of the gadgets prove attainably priced and integrate with other systems.
That means more value and convenience for your money. Interested in learning more about the latest in home tech? At CuriosityHuman, we’re here to answer your burning questions.