It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 10 years since the first smart phone came out. Remember how we all coveted that sleek iPhone 3G? Since then smart technology has expanded to the home and much of it can be controlled by the smart phone you have attached to you at all times. Smart home technology is all about what your home can do for you and how it can improve or enhance your everyday life. We have done some research and created a list of our top 10 smart home technologies. From saving you time, money, or just giving you peace of mind. These technologies are sure to impress you and your house guests!
1. August Smart Lock
Privacy and security is always a top priority for your home. Never worry about losing your keys again with the August Smart Lock. Your smartphone becomes your new key and you are also able to create virtual keys for guests. You can also keep track of who comes and goes and give guest access for a few weeks, a few hours or even a few minutes. No more worrying about forgetting to lock your door when you are in a hurry or when you are on vacation!
2. Nest Thermostat
Saving energy in the home is no easy task. How can you constantly monitor and control everything? The Nest Learning Thermostat helps you save energy by learning about what temperature you like throughout the day and builds a schedule around it. After using it for a week, it programs itself! With the app, you can see how much energy you use every day in Energy History or get a full report every month in Home Report. We love that it is simple to install, has a customizable ring to fit the style of your home and it will eventually pay for itself with the amount of money you save on your electrical bill!
3. Nest Protect Smoke Detector
No one really thinks about their smoke detector until it goes off and you’re left scrambling around to see if there really is a fire or if it is just another piece of burnt toast. We like the Nest Protect smoke detector because it is able to detect the problem – whether it is smoke or carbon monoxide – tells you what’s wrong and alerts your phone. You can also tell it to hush from the app on your phone, which means that we can say goodbye to the prolonged beeping sounds! Other features include automatic testing, so you don’t have to do it monthly and it lights up as you walk underneath it, so it doubles as a night light in your hallway.
4. Philips Hue
Most people tend to give lighting much thought, but it really helps to create the atmosphere you desire in your home! Can you really transform your space with a touch of a button? With the new lighting technology from Philips called Hue you certainly can, and all from your mobile device. Not only can you control your lights from anywhere, you can also customize it to create specific scenes such as ‘dinner party’ or ‘movie night.’ Want to have some fun? Why not try changing the ambiance or mood with various colors of light! Personalizing your lighting is as easy as screwing in a lightbulb, connecting the bridge to your router and downloading the app.
5. Belkin Wemo Switch
Not sure if you left the iron on this morning as you rushed to work? You can now check from your smart device using Belkin’s Wemo switch. Simply plug the Wemo switch into an outlet, then plug in your appliances or electronics into the Wemo and you are able turn it off or on from your smart phone. The Wemo uses your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can control electronics such as TVs, heaters, fans and lamps from the palm of your hand.
6. Hunter Douglas PowerView Motorization
If you live in a large home with lots of windows (lucky you!), then you know the struggle of adjusting your window treatments throughout the day. The new PowerView Mortorization from Hunter Douglas is able to automatically adjust your shades throughout the day using the PowerView App on your smart device or their PowerView Pebble Control. Now you maximize daylight and create the perfect ambiance in your space without the hassle of manually adjusting each shade. Most of the PowerView window treatments are also battery-powered so it is very easy to install, use and maintain. We love that you can create pre-programmed room scenes – different combinations of shades and shade positions – so you can have the amount of light, privacy and ambiance you desire in a jiffy!
7. Kohler Numi Toilet
Some may argue that the toilet is the centerpiece of a bathroom; perhaps why it is dubbed ‘the throne?’ Needless to say, it is a key component so why not make it luxurious? The Japanese have embraced toilet technology for quite some time now, so it’s about time that we do too. The Kohler Numi Toilet offers top-tier toilet technology with a motion activated cover and seat, three bidet water spray patterns (pulsate, oscillate and wave), and multiple heating options (seat and feet). If that doesn’t already sound over the top, there is an audio system and you can cycle through seven different programmable color options for the illuminated panels. Did we mention that it is incredibly sleek and aesthetically pleasing? This toilet demands to take center stage.
8. Kohler DTV+ Digital Shower Interface
Ever dreamt of having that amazing multi-sensory shower from the last 5-star hotel you stayed at in your own home? It can be achieved! Kohler has a new digital shower interface called the DTV+ that combines elements – water temperature and pressure, steam levels, lighting and music – to give you the ultimate sensory experience in the shower. The waterproof touchscreen display allows you to have control over your personalized showerhead and steam systems. You can also preset up to six modes so everyone in the family can save their favorite combination. Take your shower to the next level by amping up your morning shower or help you relax and wind down after a long day.
9. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
What is the first thing you check when you walk into your kitchen? It is very likely the refrigerator! The Samsung Family Hub smart fridge has a Wifi enabled touchscreen that helps you manage your groceries, connect with your family and entertain. With three built-in cameras, The Family Hub takes a photo every time the doors close so you can always know what you have and what is missing from your phone. On the touch screen you can keep track of schedules, leave notes and reminders, display photos, stream music and even mirror what you are watching from your smart TV! Amongst all these features you can be sure that your food will be kept fresh and organized. You can it in Canada at Home Depot for about $5,000!
10. Google Home
Everyone wants a personal assistant and the Google Home is your answer! This small voice-activated speaker is powered by Google Assistant. You can tell it to do things such as rescheduling your meeting, play music from Spotify or even ask it questions and get real-time answers including the latest weather and traffic. It acts as a hub to help you voice-control other smart devices in your home such as Nest, Philips Hue and Chromecast. Now you can shut off your music, turn on your latest Netflix show, bring down shades and dim the lights without touching a thing!