Smart Home

5 of the Best Smart Home Technologies

  • Technophiles have been reading and talking about the “home of the future” since the early 20th century. In 1957, Disneyland unveiled the Monsanto “House of the Future,” a vision of what a home would look like in 1986. The house, which was made entirely of plastic, included several "dream" home appliances we use today, including dishwashers, electric toothbrushes and a camera at the front door.

    While many of these technologies are considered "old news," here are five that will make you feel like you’re living in a “home of the future” today.

    1. Smart Thermostat

    A smart thermostat is more than just a thermostat that can be controlled from your mobile device or PC. Smart thermostats monitor the temperature outside of your home and adjust the inside temperature accordingly. Some versions use sensors to raise or lower the temperature based on if a room is occupied. Over time, a smart thermostat will learn your heating and cooling preferences and intuitively set the temperature for you. Beyond just being a cool technology, a smart thermostat's real magic is saving you money on your heating and cooling bill.

    2. Smart Refrigerator

    Although the dream of your refrigerator intuitively ordering groceries when you are low is not yet a reality, there are some pretty amazing smart refrigerators on the market. Two of the best reviewed models from the 2017 global consumer electronics tradeshow CES were the LG Smart InstaView and the Samsung Family Hub 2.0. Each features an interior camera that allows you to see inside your fridge from your phone, so that you can check what you need while at the grocery store. They both also feature touchscreens that allow you to make shopping lists and place internet orders, play music, set kitchen timers and find recipes.

    3. Home Hub

    If you are going to invest in smart devices for your home, you need a voice-activated home hub like the Amazon Echo or Google Home to control the devices. Instead of a separate smartphone app for each, the hub will integrate all gadgets in a central system and respond to your voice commands.

    4. Home Security System

    One of the most useful home automation products is an automated home security system. With home control systems like ADT’s Pulse, you can use your smartphone or tablet to arm or disarm the security system, lock and unlock your doors, and control appliances, lighting and the temperature of your house. The Pulse app sends security alerts if your primary entrance is opened, and the video feature allows you to remotely monitor your property. With a home automation system, you never need to worry about whether you set your alarm or locked your doors because you can check and control the system from anywhere.

    5. Smart Plugs

    Smart plugs like Belkin’s Wemo Insight Smart Plug can turn any home appliance into a smart gadget. Plug a lamp, heater or fan into the Wemo switch and you can turn it on and off from your device using the Wemo app or from your home hub. The app will let you set automatic schedules for any appliance that is plugged in and will monitor the amount of energy each appliance uses.

    Your home can now be safe, secure and tech-savvy with these innovative smart home technologies.