In our office, we are always watching the latest trends in technology, especially when it comes to innovations for the home. The new trend in homes is leaning towards the concept that many are calling “smart homes”, homes with all sorts of built in technology to do everything from manage your lighting, to talk to you as you make breakfast. The rate of development in this field can be astounding with many new homes being controlled by systems resembling something out of a Star Trek movie. While many of these enhancements can be extremely costly, or require the home to be brand new construction, we wanted to take some time to show you products that anyone can install in their home to bring it one step closer to the home of the future! From cost saving gadgets, to talking tech, here is our list of technology must haves for your home.
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7 Must Have Tech Innovations for Your Home
One place many people would never think to look for smart technology is in their bed, but in this day and age there’s no reason why our bed shouldn’t be as smart, as they are smart looking. Many folks have seen commercials for the Sleep Number mattress, (a mattress that can be adjusted to an individual sleeper’s desired firmness and comfort level) but what many people haven’t seen is the Sleep IQ system offered as an add-on for the mattresses. The Sleep IQ system is a system that can keep track of a person’s information as they sleep, everything from heart rate and breathing, to how much we move during the night and when we get up. Once it has collected enough information the Sleep IQ system will begin making suggestions on how to improve sleeping patterns, how to get deeper and longer rest, and will estimate which changes you make, both to your mattress and in your daily life, are effecting your sleep patterns.
Ecobee Themostat (♥ Please use this link to show us some love. This is an Affiliate Link.)
One of the first things your new home is going to need is a thermostat, and when it comes to smart thermostats, it’s hard to beat the Ecobee 3 Wi-Fi Thermostat. Between it’s gorgeous full color, LED, touch screen display, and built-in, adjustable schedules, it’s easy to see why someone would love this thermostat, but in my opinion those aren’t it’s greatest features. The best feature this thermostat has going for it is the individual sensors that can be placed in different rooms in your home which all communicate wirelessly with the main thermostat, ensuring that you will no longer have a living room that’s warm, and bedroom that’s frosty in the winter. This feature alone makes us want one, and combined with the savings promised by the smart scheduling system it easy to see why this thermostat is a must-have for your new home.
Amazon Echo (♥ Please use this link to show us some love. This is an Affiliate Link.)
This impressive little speaker is a must have for your new home, delivering a combination of high sound quality and a connection to a smart service allowing you to perform a number of tasks from anywhere in the room. The smart service (named Alexa) will do everything from play your favorite music directly from your favorite streaming sources, to keeping track of a running grocery list, or answer question to help get you ready for the day, like the weather, traffic or sports. Alexa can even pull up and read Wikipedia articles in case you need information on the fly. The best part though is that the service is getting more and more updates all the time, from small tweaks, to major enhancements, meaning that not only is Alexa a smart system now, it’s getting smarter all the time (and I for one welcome our robot overlords!).
Connected by TCP Wireless LED Lighting Kit (♥ Please use this link to show us some love. This is an Affiliate Link.)
Most homes are now starting to gradually replace their old incandescent bulbs with new LED bulbs. The benefits are undeniable at this point, between a longer lifespan, lower electricity use, and reduced environmental impact the time has come to move to a smarter light bulb, but we say it’s time to take it one step further with a full smart lighting system. This TCP wireless LED lighting kit hooks right into your router and allows your to control your lights using your smartphone, or the included remote control. You can also create schedules so your lights can turn on and off at certain times, dim down slowly as you go to sleep, or raise slowly in the morning to help you wake up. These features will help ensure that your new home will be smart from the lighting on down.
These days nearly all phones can be charged by simply plugging a USB cord into a computer and the phone, but sometimes there isn’t a full computer available, or you don’t want to take up a USB port that you could otherwise be using just to charge up your phone. That’s where these new outlet adapters from QCI Direct come in handy, turning a two plug outlet into a three plug, with two USB charging port outlet. It even has a pair of built in phone holders, so you can always have a handy spot to set your phone while it’s charging up. If you are up for a little electrical work then it’s also worth it to check out these additional outlets (♥ This is an Affiliate Link.) from Amazon, which use the new USB 3.0 standard to charge your devices super fast, and can be wired right into the wall like any other electrical outlet.
August Smart Lock (♥ Please use this link to show us some love. This is an Affiliate Link.)
A smart lock system is an incredibly smart investment, helping to keep your home secure, while offering you a great deal of convenience. There is no better feeling than walking up to your door and hearing it unlock as it recognizes your approach, without needing to dig through your pockets for a key ring, and spend time fumbling with the lock in cold weather as your hands get progressively more numb. We chose this particular smart lock for several reasons, mainly it’s quick and easy to install nature, and it’s ability to allow the homeowner to distribute temporary access to the lock. Going to to be out of town for a while and need someone to water the plants? Give your friend access for the next week and they can enter the home. And if you ever need to revoke access to the lock it’s a quick simple process. Another plus is that this lock runs off of battery power, so even if your power goes out you still have a working lock, and it can even still accept a key like a normal lock, so if your phone is dead you aren’t locked out until you charge it. Overall, this lock is a great addition to help secure any home.
Now that your door can unlock automatically you can enter your home quickly and easily, but what happens when your inside? With this new smart switch system your lights can come on to greet you, music can start playing from your stereo, or your TV can turn on with your favorite channel already tuned in. There is no better feeling after coming home from a long day at the office and seeing your home come alive, almost as though it’s happy to see you return. This set of sensors tracks your motion as you move from room to room in your home, and can automatically turn on and off lights and appliances, giving your home a more futuristic feeling. These switches are an excellent item to complete your new home, and give it the feeling of being a truly smart home.
Did you like our Gadget list? Did we leave off your favorite Innovation? Let us know in the comments below for a chance to win our Monthly Drawing!