Bill Gates’s house, Xanadu 2.0, in Medina outside Seattle, is probably the earliest smart home we know of. Even today, the technology inside the house like a pool with underwater music system, digital walls with changing artworks and more can make your jaw drop. But there are now ways to harness new technology and turn your home into a ‘smart one’. Consider these.
-Bluetooth keyless padlock: When it comes to your living spaces, safety is paramount. And if you are switching to a smart home, the first thing you need is a smart lock. We recommend the Noke keyless padlock. It works with any iOS, Android or Windows device running Bluetooth 4.0. It has a powerful IoT dimension, too Noke can be shared with others and its history of being opened, checked.
-Smart home security camera: There’s a lot more to home security than just locks and alarms. You can now get a fairly high-tech setup without spending a great deal. The Piper Classic Camera is a good start. This 180-degree HD camera gives you access to live video at any time from an app. It can also send you alerts when rooms are entered or doors are opened, offers two-way audio and can be linked to other home automation products.
-Smart wallpapers: Now that your home is fortified, it’s time to jazz it up. Prepare your house for smart wallpapers. They harvest ambient light, even in dim conditions. Using a technique known as nanotexturing, researchers from the University of Surrey in UK have developed ultra-thin graphene sheets which can be used to generate electricity from waste light or heat, and power a host of applications for IoT and home.
-Showerhead with wireless speakers: Your bathroom deserves some tech infusion. Go for the Kohler Moxie Showerhead that connects to your smartphone or tab over Bluetooth to stream music while you are taking a shower. It gives around seven hours of music, news and more by pairing wirelessly with your mobile device. The speaker snaps into the shower head using a magnet, so it’s easy to install and remove for charging.
-Mattress with sleep monitor: Before you hit the bed, check out Sleep Number’s latest mattress that can change the way you live once you wake up. It tracks your heart rate, breathing patterns and nocturnal movement to gather information and use an accompanying app to suggest changes for better sleep. The mattress is also adjustable and perfect for couples who disagree on mattress firmness.
-Universal remote for smart home: Logitech has been the only real player in the land of universal remotes for a long time now , and its Harmony Home Control offers the best value. The remote can connect to things like a Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lights or Sonos speakers, in addition to the usual suite of TVs, media streamers, cable boxes, game consoles and so on. Using it isn’t constantly seamless, but for something that’s controlling up to eight things at once, it’s far from unruly.
-Smart odour control: Looking for something fancy? Procter & Gamble claims to have the least essential smart home device Febreze Home a WiFi connected scent dispenser that lets you make your home smell like a candle store right from your phone or tablet. Through its Febreze Connect app, you can schedule when one of the device’s two scent-cartridges are released into a room, keep tabs on fluid levels in the cartridges and even have a backend automatically order refills.
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