You’ve heard of smart phones. But what about smart homes? More and more companies are coming up with ways to turn your everyday appliances into digitally-savvy devices that you can (usually) control with your phone. So there’s no surprise that at this year’s Consumer Electronic Conference (CES), one of the most talked about tech trends for 2018 was the smart home marketplace.
While implementing an entire smart home system can be quite expensive, adding a few fun devices here and there can make a homeowner’s life much easier (and let’s face it, more fun). Even those who are selling houses, like a flip house, can benefit from adding some of these cool features to reduce their home’s time on the market and increase its sale price.
Here’s a quick look at some ways homeowners can enjoy more convenience and comfort.
#1 Upgrades to Home Security
Ring really opened up this tech trend when they made a name for themselves with smart video doorbells. The Ring 2 has taken it to the next level, now offering indoor and outdoor security cameras and with or without flood lights. Later this year, they announced they will also be releasing the Ring Alarm Security Kit which includes night lights, motion sensors, outdoor lighting, smoke and water leak detectors, and new wireless smart cameras.
Adobe also has a home security kit and released a new Adobe Iota, a smart home hub meant to streamline the home security process. Compatible only with the Apple HomeKit, it also has a built-in security camera.
#2 A Smarter Bathroom Experience
I bet you never thought you’d want a smart toilet. But with all the other appliances and devices in your home getting upgrades, why not the good old throne? That’s right. Kohler unveiled the Kohler Konnect at CES this year. This includes voice assisted toilets, showers, and mirrors allowing you to take a hands-free approach to your daily bathroom routine. The Numi Intelligent Toilet even has a heated bidet feature and can play music when you ask your Virtual Assistant. Other features include an automatic flush, automatic opening-closing lid, a foot warmer, and ambient night lighting. How’s that for royal treatment?
#3 Let There Be Light
One of the brightest ideas seen at CES were iDevices’ new light switch, the Instinct Smart Switch. The Instinct won the CES 2018 Editors’ Choice Award, and it isn’t hard to see why. The device comes with Amazon Alexa built in, making it a smart assistant as well. The light switch also plays music, using the wall to acoustically send sounds through its small yet powerful speaker.
Lutron also came out with their in-wall wireless smart lighting kit. This kit works with Alexa, Nest, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit and others. The Lutron app is user-friendly, offering plenty of helpful features, including geofencing technology, scene management, and a security mode that’ll help make it look like you’re home when you’re not. Clever.
#4 An Upgraded Garage Door Opener
This is one of those things that you didn’t realize you needed until you have it. Chamberlain’s MyQ Home Bridge added smartphone control to your MyQ Smart Garage Hub enabled garage door openers (without built-in Wi-Fi). This device allows you to easily open your garage door by tapping your devices screen to open or close your garage from anywhere, ending the worrying thought – “Did I close the garage door?”
This company is also looking to add geofencing technology in the near future, allowing your car to sense when you pull in the driveway and automatically open your garage door. Sort of like walking through automatic doors.
#5 Window Coverings
While this one is still a rather expensive addition to your house, automatic controlled window shades are a pretty cool feature to have. If you want smart shades with a lot of features and flexibility, Lutron’s new Serena Shades are right up your alley. These smart shades can be scheduled and controlled remotely through an app. You can even ask Siri to open or close them. They can also integrate with your other smart home gadget, like your lights or thermostat.