- I know you already have a Google Home, but I'm adding it here for others. :) Most smart home gadgets can now be controlled by voice using an Amazon Echo or Google Home. For example, to control your Philips Hue lightbulbs, you can say "Hey Google, turn on the lights". Although the Echo has more integrations than Google Home does, I find that Google Assistant is a lot more contextual.
I've actually had it for several months. I didn't get to play around with it too much, but for now its main use is with Google Music. I ask it to play songs, bands, albums or just generic stuff like "saturday morning music" and it's pretty good at it. I also ask it the weather, I occasionally set reminders on it and once or twice I set a countdown. I guess I'm not yet accustomed to it being there.
Best part for me: coming home at night, I can just shout at my Google Home to turn on the lights instead of stumbling around in the dark looking for the light switch!
- I've been experimenting with Philips Hue lights throughout my entire home for the last month. They're especially great if you have an Alexa or Google Home! I have three of the color ambiance lights in the living room - excellent for parties and showing off to guests. I use the white ambiance lights in my office and bedroom. My favorite feature is a "Concentration Mode" that uses cool, bright white "daylight" to help to energize your body and mind. Finally, I recently setup my home to automatically turn off the lights as I leave, and automatically turn them on before I arrive. I never return home to a dark house, which is a very pleasant feeling. The setup is pretty simple, but the Phillips app could use some UX improvements. I'm hoping they take some inspiration from the Nest app in the future. 😉Get the base station + a few bulbs. You'll be able control all your lights from your phone. Is really nice getting home and being able to turn everything on with 1 click. Bonus: there are apps that you can connect to it that react to whatever music you're playing and create an insane light show. 💡
- Keys are sooo last century. Upgrade to a smart lock that uses your phone to get in. This also makes having visitors a lot more seamless— I personally have accidentally locked out family and friends on multiple occasions because we did not coordinate keys / time that I'd be home to let them in. This way, they can get in and out with their phone and everyone stays happy.My friend has one of these and I used it to stay at his place while I was visiting, and I was able to get into his place while he was at work. Super clever, especially for people who are hosts on Airbnb and other similar services!
Setting up key code entry for deliveries and pickups is extremely convenient and I look forward to testing out how this goes with various services moving forward.
The biggest asks:
• Customize my notifications - I love receiving confirmation when I leave that the door was locked behind me, but would like to turn off all of the notifications regarding my room mates coming and going.
• Auto generate and fill August temporary key code into shipping details in other Android apps upon checkout.
- I'm obsessed with my Nest Protect. It's one of those little things that makes me feel so much safer (smoke and CO2 detection all connected to my phone, super loud alarms, monthly "home reports") and it's worth every penny. The glowing circle is also the most genius little design— the colors all have different meanings and at night when you turn off your lights it'll flash green if everything's all good, then glow white to guide your path and act as a gentle nightlight.
- Canary does a kickass job at home security (high quality camera with night mode, motion detection, user profiles, etc) but really goes above and beyond with the tiny features. They have privacy settings that can vary from what is essentially "lockdown mode" when you're away to "hey I'm home but on guard" to "leave me the f alone, I've got it covered" that shuts down the camera/microphone completely. It also takes air quality and temperature readings and compiles them into little color-coded graphs that are totally delightful and insightful to your understanding of "home health". I swear by this little device!
I preordered the Canary after their kickstarter ended. Loved the device. The app on Android was flaky for a year, but steadily improved. Until they added membership. Then they slowly took away all the features I loved and moved them to membership. Now I have a live streaming camera, not a security device.
- I have a petcube. I use it to check on my cat when I'm away... and also to check on my apartment. I get a notification and a video recording of the past 30 seconds if something unusual happens while I'm not there. Funny thing is I could talk to an intruder... or attack them with the laser 😅
- I'm currently tied into the Homekit ecosystem, but I still have these and I've found it to be the most reliable for setting up automation and the app makes it really simple to do all this. I believe you can setup a third party node js server called home bridge to make it compatible with Homekit still.
- I have a few smart home gadgets (Nest, LIFX lights, Blossom, Keen Home Vents), but I just heard about this integrated smart home solution from Loxone because of a colleague. He did a ton of research (and spent a hefty amount) to get a custom solution from them. It comes with a server, so you own all your smart home data and the security layer around your data. They have products that will do everything–lighting, blinds, security, multimedia, energy, heating & cooling, etc. If you're starting from scratch and want the best, this is the way I'd love to go in the future.
- I'll never not have one of these. I love my Roomba. I even knocked down some walls to install pocket doors and extended my couch feet to make my apartment "roomba-ready". Side note, as much as I love my Roomba, I think the company has rested on their laurels too long and risks getting knocked from their comfy market leader position because they haven't truly innovated in years. The nav tech is still "dumb", the WiFi/App enabled/touch screen "innovations" are fluff, and they haven't addressed any real issues (e.g. airflow, suction, ease of cleaning the unit). And don't even get me started on their floor mopping missteps. Dyson is going to crush it as soon as they normalize their price, and create a lower profile unit.
- You don't necessarily think of a ceiling fan as "smart" but this product is impressive. It's beautiful, it has an occupancy sensor, an ambient light sensor, a temperature sensor that automatically turns the fan on/off, it's app enabled and it links with Nest.