5 devices to make your home smarter
Smart homes really offer us a glimpse of what the future may be like - well, at least in a similar sense to what we imagined as kids.
From doors that unlock when you approach them to being able to control the lighting in your living room from across the city, smart homes take a leap towards streamlining our lives by removing the manual aspect from life’s most mundane tasks.
So how is it done? We can control household features electronically using “home automation” which enables homeowners to control certain appliances and other aspects of their homes via the Internet. For instance, getting your home refreshingly cool by the time you arrive home from work could take just a few taps on your cell phone to get the air con running.
If you're looking to smarten up your home there are certain gadgets that you should start with.
Here are 5 must have gadgets for every smart home:
1. A smart speaker
R 2399 from smartphoneshop.co.za
You can either start or expand your Amazon Alexa ecosystem with the 3rd-generation Amazon Echo.The device connects to your home's wireless network and allows you to intuitively play music, check the weather and traffic reports, hear sports scores, make hands-free calls, text messages, and more. Most impressive of all its features is the enhanced far-field voice recognition technology that allows the Echo to respond to your voice from any direction in the room, even while music is playing.
2. Indoor security
R2948 from www.amazon.com
This smart indoor camera can recognise faces and gives you access to all its features without having to pay a subscription fee. Instead of the usual motion alerts which require you to search through hours of footage, Netatmo Indoor Camera sends an immediate alert if an outsider has been detected in your home, complete with a picture of their face and a video recording. The camera has the option to disable video recording for familiar faces so friends and family can relax in the privacy of your home, knowing they aren’t being watched. Plus, the design is so modern and sleek, it will blend in with most interior decor.
3. Smart light bulbs
Bneta Wi-Fi Smart Bulb
R299 from www.makro.co.za
Change the lighting in your home to match your mood with smart light bulbs. With a quick and simple set-up, the device can link up to your smart speaker or cell phone to enable voice control via the free app.
4. Streaming stick
Roku Streaming Stick +
R1081 from www.roku.com
This streaming stick is super-charged with a long-range wireless receiver for quadruple the wireless range and smooth streaming anywhere in the house. So, you can enjoy brilliant HD, 4K, and HDR picture quality, plus a voice remote with TV controls.
5. Cleaning appliance
iRobot Roomba i7+
R10 612 from store.irobot.com
A self-cleaning robot vacuum cleaner? Sounds like a dream come true to us. Equipt with a home mapping function, it can effortlessly clean your house and messes as they appear. All you need to do is use the map to tell the Roomba which region you want cleaned.