Home technology has evolved drastically over the last few years. You can pretty much control everything in your house – from home security to lighting to energy consumption – from your smartphone irrespective of where you are. CNET, one of the leading online reviewers of technology, has announced its picks for the best home technology this year. So, if you are looking to make your home smarter and automate various processes, definitely check out the list.
1. Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo is a smart speaker that can control your whole house. Google has recently came out with its own version, Google Home Speaker, however, as it hasn’t yet hit the market the jury is still out on it. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Price: $179.
2. Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
Wemo Insight Switch is a Wi-Fi enabled home technology that connects your home appliances and electronic devices to your network. You can turn the devices on or off, change their status or program customized notifications from your smart phone wherever you are. Wemo Insight Switch can monitor your electronics and send you data about the energy usage of your various devices directly to your smartphone or tablet. Perfect to pair with space heaters, wall A/C units, TVs, washers, dryers, fans, lights and more. Price: $97.42
3. Nest Learning Thermostat (2015)
This is the third generation of Nest thermostat. Not only is the design sleeker but it has much better learning capabilities compared to its predecessors. It gets to know how your house heats and cools, or how drafty it is, and adjusts accordingly. And if your furnace is acting up, the Nest Thermostat will let you know. It works with Alexa for voice control. The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself and automatically helps save energy when you’re away. And you can control it using your phone, tablet or laptop. Price: $247.95
4. Lifx Color 1000
Yes, even your light bulbs can now be smart. Lifx Color 1000 is a Wi-Fi enabled light bulb that connects to your smartphone or tablet and you can select between 16 million colors and 1000 shades of warm to cool whites. This piece of home technology will help you personalize your home based on your mood or events you are hosting. It also integrates with Alexa, so you can control it through Amazon Echo. Price: $54.74
5. Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit
The kit contains two items: a Philips Hue white LED smart bulb and a portable, battery-operated dimmer switch that doubles as a remote control. You can either connect the switch to a wall or carry it around as a remote to control the light. The best part is its simplicity – you don’t need to download or program anything and the kit allows you to control up to 10 bulbs. Price: $34.99
6. BeOn Starter Pack
This home technology is home security and lighting combined. It mimics your lighting patterns in a natural and believable manner while you are away, creating the illusion that there is someone at home. Its backup light feature ensures that you still have light during a power outage and has instant-on emergency lighting that get activated as a fire alarm. Price: $199.
7. Scout Home Security System
This is a self-installed, wireless home security system. “While Scout isn’t the cheapest DIY system on the market, we were impressed by its potential for customization,” says the review by CNET. Scout technology connects to your smartphone/tablet so you can control and monitor the system from anywhere. You can set custom actions and alarms, arm and disarm your system, and stop false alarms from your device. It is integrated with Alexa and can, therefore, be controlled through Amazon Echo. Price: $276 for the entire kit + $9.99 monthly fee.
8. August Smart Lock, HomeKit-enabled
You no longer need keys with this lock. It is replaced by your smartphone. You can lock and unlock your door, create virtual keys for guests, and keep track of who comes and goes from your iOS or Android device. You can grant access via a virtual key for a few minutes, days or weeks and revoke it any time you like. It auto-locks when you close the door and unlocks when you are near it, so searching for keys in a bag as you have ten grocery bags on each arm is now a thing of the past. Price: $229.
9. SkyBell HD WiFi Video Doorbell
As the name of the product suggests, SkyBell is a smart video doorbell that allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you’re at home or at work, school, your car or anywhere else. When a visitor presses the bell button, you receive a notification on your phone and you can either video chat with this visitor or hang up. You can program the device to send you notifications even if the bell button is not pressed. Price: $220.
10. Nest Cam
This is an indoor security camera that lets you monitor your house 24/7. It has a built-in speaker and microphone, and lets you talk and listen through the app. When Nest Cam detects activity, it can send a phone alert or email with a photo of the event. All you need to do to set it up is plug-in the camera and install the app on your smartphone or your tablet. The night vision feature will ensure that you can monitor the inside of your house during the night if you are away on a trip. Price: $178.28
11. Kuna Toucan
Another home safety technology, Kuna Toucan is a wireless outdoor camera. Connecting to your smartphone, Toucan lets you monitor the outside of your home anywhere in the world, anytime, so you never miss a moment. Via the Kuna app, you can receive alerts, view live video, and speak directly to those at your door. Price: $179.
12. Nest Protect (2nd generation)
This home technology is a smoke alarm made even smarter. It has an industrial-grade smoke sensor, tests itself automatically, and lasts up to a decade. As is expected of modern home tech, you can control it through your smartphone. Nest Protect has a human voice that gives you an early warning, so your neighbors will no longer give you a mean eye because your fire alarm went off from a burnt toaster. Price: $99.
13. Lutron Serena Remote Controlled Shades
Serena remote-controlled shades offer the beauty, luxury, and quality. Available in insulating honeycomb and roller styles, Serena shades offer a wide variety of fabric colors and textures. These ultra-quiet window coverings install and operate without wires, and feature industry-leading battery performance. At the touch of a button, shades operate in perfect unison, and can even be controlled from anywhere in the world using the Lutron App and Smart Bridge. Price: $349
14. Project Nursery Video Baby Monitor System
Utilizing 2.4Ghz wireless camera connection technology the Project Nursery baby monitor system allows up to 4 cameras to be connected to one system. This allows parents a secure wireless camera connection to the 5” main and mini monitoring units without the insecurities or technical set up of a wifi network. The baby monitor cameras also act as a two way radio between the 5” main and mini monitor units. Price: $299.99
15. iBaby Monitor M6S
Another piece of home technology for the little ones, Ibaby monitor m6s is a 1080p full HD Wi-Fi smart digital baby monitor with night vision, two-way speakers, play lullaby, 360 view and free cloud compatible with iOS and android devices. Price: $229.95