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A Guide to Smart Home GadgetsMay 21st, 2020 by
Smartphones put the internet at our fingertips and have helped usher in a new way of living. Now homeowners are connecting their devices to transform living spaces and make life more integrated than it’s ever been. So what can you expect from the newest smart home trends? Check out our guide to smart home gadgets in 2020 and how you can use each one.
How Smart Home Gadgets Are Connected
The Internet of Things, frequently referred to as IoT, is a phenomenon that has arisen as more things integrate with technology. Everyday objects, such as scales and sinks, contain electronics that allow them to track data and communicate information via Wi-Fi. IoT describes the exchange of information between the connected devices in your home.
As you may imagine, the IoT is a central component in smart home designs. In this type of house, you have access to all the information various devices are tracking, as well as remote access to certain functions, such as arming the security system or turning off the lights.
Connected Devices: The Product of Modern Convenience
It seems like there are new smart gadgets every day, from phones to watches to headphones. How do you know which are actually helpful and which are just hype?
The idea behind connected devices is to make daily life more convenient, safe, and energy efficient. The items you decide to invest in depends on your lifestyle. That being said, here are some of the most popular smart devices of 2020.
Connecting Your Devices With a Hub
How can you keep track of all your connected devices? Fortunately, the tech wizards thought of that: a hub.
A hub connects to other smart devices, usually via an antenna or Wi-Fi. You can then access the hub with an app and control all the devices in one place, instead of having to use several separate apps. You can think of a hub as a sort of universal remote.
Smart plugs are ideal for saving energy since you can remotely turn them on or off. Some models even allow you to schedule toggle times to occur automatically. These devices come in a singular plug you can put right into a wall outlet or power strip if you want to control multiple energy-consuming products at once.
Auto-moving vacuums have been around for years, but the newest versions are even more convenient than their predecessors. Not only do they maneuver around obstacles without you having to lift a finger, but they can also empty themselves, learn your house’s layout, and park themselves in their charging station when finished with the job.
There are a number of smart appliances currently on the market, including:
- Washing machines
One of the major benefits of these big-ticket items is their ability to adjust cycles based on loads, interruptions, and other factors. This means they don’t use more energy than they need to, saving you money. While many of these are relatively simple to use, you may need a professional to install them and ensure everything has the proper connection.
Smart thermostats, like phones before them, have taken on multiple uses with the newest generations. Many double as speakers, which means you can listen to your favorite playlists without the trouble of connecting to a portable speaker.
As a thermostat, many of these devices use sensors to track and record temperatures in each room, thereby helping you manage your air conditioning and heating efficiently. Many also have voice command so you can adjust the temperature without having to get up. With its intricate systems, you’ll want to hire a professional to install a smart thermostat.
Perhaps the most obvious use for connected devices is security. There are a wide variety of security cameras that store recorded feeds to the Cloud, allowing you to access video from anywhere. You can also set up alerts connected to your phone so you’ll know immediately if something has triggered the alarm.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have been a staple home safety feature for many years. The smart versions can help you get out of your home in an emergency by not only alerting you with an alarm, but also turning on the lights in your house to provide increased visibility. These detectors can also indicate which room triggered the alert, giving you a better idea of where the danger lies.
You’re probably familiar with smart assistants by now; they’re devices that respond to voice command and can perform a number of actions, including:
- Play music
- Note items in your virtual calendar
- Make purchases
- Answer questions
- Perform search engine queries
Many of the major tech companies will be rolling out newer models this year that respond quicker, perform commands more accurately, and are more aesthetically pleasing.
One of the best things about smart lighting is the option to adjust brightness or color. Most smart bulbs require a hub or a smart assistant to work, which means you’ll need to make an investment in one if you want to switch over.
Smart doorbells use a motion-activated camera to let you see who’s at your door at any time. Some models alert you when something activates the doorbell; you can receive these alerts via your phone, computer, or smart TV. Additionally, the recorded footage stays in the Cloud so you can easily access it at any time. Since these devices need hardwiring, you should contact a professional for installation.
If you’re tired of mowing the lawn, a smart mower may be the perfect solution. Like their vacuuming cousins, these devices move on their own, using sensors and cameras to learn your yard’s layout. They come with an app, allowing you to use your phone to set the grass cutting height, track its movements, and schedule yard work. Most models are relatively easy to use and require little supervision.
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