Living in a smart house used to only exist in sci-fi movies. Fast forward to today and connected homes and smart gadgets are quickly becoming the norm. Smart home tech has transformed every aspect of home life, from security and basic kitchen tasks to how a house is built. It’s making our lives more comfortable, economical, convenient, and safe.
If you haven’t upgraded your home with the latest tech there are many ways to start. If your needs are relatively simple, there are affordable options that can bring about convenience, however, if you want to go all out you can create a fully connected and modern space. So, check out the latest top smart home tech products that you can add to your home today.
“Hey Alan, play my workout playlist.” While voice assistants have been around since the early 2010s, it has taken us a while to get comfortable talking to applications and devices. Today’s most popular commands include asking voice assistants to play music, answer a question, turn on the lights, provide the weather, and set reminders, alarms, and timers. As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, virtual assistants will become more personalized towards individuals. New features such as voice detection can recognize who is talking and create a unique, tailored experience, like calling you by a nickname or providing music recommendations that fit your style.
Video doorbells, cameras, and alarm systems
We have all heard stories about porch pirates stealing packages. One of the biggest smart home tech trends is investing in video doorbells, security cameras, and alarm systems. Grouped together, a standardized smart home security system may be one of the best investments you can make to protect your family and your home. Video doorbells and home security cameras now have live views and voice capabilities that allow users to see and speak to people at the door from virtually anywhere. Motion sensors can detect and record activity that can trigger an alarm, phone notification, and alert authorities. Installing these can provide that added sense of security knowing that your home is being monitored 24/7.
Fingerprint and facial recognition door locks
Installing fingerprint or facial recognition locks can change your life, especially if you always misplace your spare key. Biometric technology and Bluetooth have already made their way into phones and tablets, but they are now starting to become more common in door locks. With just a glance or fingerprint scan, a lock can recognize a person by targeting facial features or fingerprint patterns to detect whether they are welcome or not. Not at home or lost your key? This technology can also be synced with a phone app or Bluetooth so that owners can remotely lock and unlock a door at the touch of a button.
Imagine your own personal security guard patrolling the halls while you are not at home. While this might not be common today, drone innovation has made strides within the home security space. Unlike traditional video cameras, drones provide better ground activity and can cover more areas. While you are away, automated drone technology will fly inside your home monitoring different rooms and areas. Take it a step further, users can create map paths for the drone to follow.
Sustainable Smart Home Tech
Using solar panels for on-site energy generation has become a popular alternative to traditional electricity, especially in cities that get a lot of sun year-round like Miami, FL. Now, architects and designers are finding unique ways to incorporate solar panels into the design of a home, not just on the roof. Solar panels can be used in different ways that can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per month such as heating water, providing energy, and charging electric vehicles. They are also likely to enhance your home’s value, and depending on where you live, you can even earn tax credits and rebates.
Living plant walls
Plants are a fun way to bring color and life into your home. Living walls also known as green walls, can be a great way to style plain backdrops to create a striking focal point in your home. Besides design, living walls serve multiple sustainability purposes. They can be used to improve air quality as a natural air pollutant filter, serve as a noise buffer, and create added insulation during the winter months. Living walls can also be configured to filter out water from sinks, showers, and appliances. Water is redirected to the top of the wall, filters and irrigates plants, and is treated for reuse, creating the ultimate smart home tech piece for the environment.
Light bulbs are a great entry-point into smart home tech. Connected to a smart device, lightbulbs can help you look like you are home when on vacation, change colors based on mood, save on energy consumption, and conveniently turn off all the lights with a single voice command. Using smart home lights throughout your house can also drastically upgrade the look and feel of a room or outdoor space. Consider adding smart light bulbs to your kitchen, bedrooms, and even driveway to adjust hue and brightness based on what you might be feeling.
Many people are not aware of how much a thermostat impacts the household budget. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling costs accounts for half of the average home utility bill. Smart thermostats seek to tackle this problem. Within one week of installation, smart thermostats can learn schedules to modify temperatures based on household activities. They can also track daily and monthly usage to get a sense of where heat and air are being directed to and adjust temperatures accordingly based on the season.
In the Kitchen
For those who love to cook, consider adding smart appliances into your kitchen. Modern-day fridges can take phone calls, link to television, save energy, and provide recipes. However, new fridge tech has not stopped there. If you are out and about at the grocery store and want to check what needs to be replaced, some fridges allow you to access built-in cameras via your smartphone to see what’s inside your fridge no matter where you may be. Smart ovens are also starting to incorporate phone connectivity. People can preheat their oven on the way home, adjust timers remotely, and have notifications sent via text message when food is done cooking.
Kitchen counters and workspaces
Ditch the granite countertops and go with a smart work surface. One of the latest technologies in kitchen countertops includes a sink that can disappear and reappear with a single wave of the hand. Smart home tech also seeks to tackle problems such as food consumption. Kitchen scales are being embedded into the stone that can allow sensors to measure and weigh ingredients. With the data, a mobile app can provide curated recipes with the goal of preparing delicious meals without the food waste.
Smart showers & chromatherapy bathtubs
The perfect shower concert just got easier. A fun way to spruce up your bathroom time is by installing a Bluetooth speaker showerhead. These speakers easily connect to your phone to blast your favorite tunes while taking a shower. For something more sophisticated, showers are starting to double as steam rooms by trapping vaporous steam to elicit pore opening moisture. If you’re looking to relax after a long day at work, Chromatherapy, or color therapy bathtubs, can help put your mind and body at ease by using colored lights to elicit feelings.
Touchless toilets and digital bidets
The toilet is one of the most germ-ridden locations in your home. Highly advanced toilets seek to keep things clean and comfortable by integrating features such as self-opening and closing lids, heated seats, deodorizing systems, and temperature-controlled water. For freshening up, digital bidets also can be automated for hands-free operation. Two self-sterilizing nozzles spray gently aerated spritzes of water which can be adjusted for temperature, pressure, and spray width. They even come with an air dryer and deodorizer.
Making a Smart Home Gym
Touchscreen fitness mirrors
Smart home tech is bringing the gym to you. Touchscreen, wall-mounted fitness mirrors are the latest craze in home gym technology. If you are missing the instruction and motivation of an in-person trainer, simply turn on the screen and let an AI trainer provide guided workouts and fitness programs that fit your liking. New tech also includes virtual spotters, sensors to monitor every rep, and measuring your progress in real time. Remote group training has also become more popular, and groups can virtually work out together from the comfort of their home while still keeping the workout, music, and atmosphere people love about a local gym.
If curating your workout is your thing, there are many products to help you keep track of your fitness goals. Smart dumbbells and kettlebells can automatically change weights up to 42lbs and track reps from the touch of a button. These are perfect for smaller home gym owners looking to get in simple workouts such as shoulder presses and deadlifts. Punching bags with smart technology are a great way to blow off some steam. These punching bags come equipped with trackers that you wrap around your hand to track punch speed and the number of punches where you can track your progress via an app. This is perfect for the person who loves a quick and specific workout. Stationary Bikes are a great way to get in that much-needed cardio, the newest technology offers pre-recorded classes that sync to the mechanics of the bike to automatically adjust resistance and incline as well as the ability to sync to smartwatches.
Originally published by Redfin.