We’ve come a long way in home automation! The market has been flooded with the most innovative smart home products over the past few years. My peeve with some home technology is that it can often be unattractive and distract from meaningful interactions with our loved ones. The five smart home products listed below however are great to look at and can enrich our connections with family, even our beloved pets.
1) Amazon Echo
This neat little cylinder houses a voice-controlled speaker allowing you to use a virtual assistant named Alexa to help you with daily tasks. Alexa is able to manipulate your thermostat, turn on your oven, answer questions, and even play music. What I really like about this device is that it fits seamlessly and inconspicuously into almost any décor.
Alexa isn’t technically available in Canada yet, but there are ways around it if you’re eager enough.
Do you love to spoil your pet? Do you worry about what they’re doing when you’re away? If so, Furbo could be the perfect gadget for you! This smart device houses a microphone and a speaker, so you are able to talk to your pet, and know when your dog is barking or sitting on your brand new sofa. This handy tool can also reward your pet with treats, and it allows you to watch and interact with them through the front camera. Furbo’s good looks will surely complement your décor.
3) Dyson 360 Eye
Do you love a clean floor but dislike vacuuming? Just when you thought products couldn’t get any better, voila Dyson 360 Eye! This small robot is a compact vacuum cleaner that can be controlled through an app. The simple, futuristic design is user friendly and only has one button. Turn on the 360 Eye, and walk away with ease knowing that if the device wanders into difficult terrain, such as a carpet snag, it will turn itself off and return to a smoother surface. Now you can go to work or enjoy leisure activities and come home to a freshly vacuumed home.
4) Nest Protect
We all know smoke alarms are a necessity in every home. However do you sometimes wonder if it is working? Or do you find yourself frantically trying to turn it off when you burn the toast?
Nest’s slogan is “Know more and worry less!” They have developed a carbon monoxide/smoke detector that will make you rethink the way you keep your home safe. It is on the ceiling and on your phone, so you can check on the safety of your home while you are away. Nest Protect also has voice warnings before an alarm is set off, and it checks the battery over 400 times a day! This little gem is the perfect addition to any household. And it’s good looking too!
5) Kwikset Premis Touchscreen Smart Lock
Did I lock the front door? Did the kid’s get home safely? Don’t want to give your house key to the dog walker or house cleaner? If any of these apply to you, then you may want to install the stylish Kwikset Premis on your entry door. This single cylinder deadbolt is a home locking mechanism that allows you to use a key, keypad, or thumb turn to lock and unlock your front door. The Kwikset Premis Touchscreen Smart Lock is “HomeKit” compatible which allows you to use Siri and your Apple TV to ensure the safety of your home.
Some of these smart home products are affordable and others like the Dyson 360 Eye can be quite costly. Chances are one of them will make your life a little easier. You can find links with more info on these products on our Pinterest board.
Jo-Ann Capelaci is president and principal interior designer of Colours & Concepts Inc. The award winning company specializes in model homes and colour and upgrade selections for builders. They have been helping new home buyers choose finishes for their homes for over 20 years. Jo-Ann is dedicated to helping new home buyers create a model home feeling in their new home. Look for future articles on other topics to assist in decorating and designing your new home.