Ever since moving to Silicon Valley I've gotten into the Internet of things. I've been pitched almost every device known to man and get to see some of the best innovations that the world has to offer. Here are some of the great home automation devices that I've seen in the past couple months.
Making The World Safe
Anyone with kids knows doors get left open. Which is especially an issue for closet or garage doors leading to sensitive places like gun safes. Notion Sensors alert parents and homeowners to the state of their home including doors, windows, lights being left on, leaks, and smoke detector alerts.
Homeowners can completely customize their automation and control everything through the companion app. Each sensor includes an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, temperature sensor, piezoelectric transducer, proximity sensor, and water leak probes.
All of these tools work together to create the ultimate home automation network.
Technology That Learns
In 2011, Nest introduced the first "learning thermostat" to solve the problem that homeowners had an inefficient home, and electricity bills were soaring. Using a smart thermostat would reduce the monthly electricity bill, and create a more comfortable home environment for families. First in, Nest was able to revolutionize home automation, and start building the connected home.
With times changing, and homeowners wanting a more secure house yet needing to allow more access to friends, housekeepers, and even short-term renters, keys have become passe. The hotel industry created a simple solution years ago, however, homeowners had no reason to advance. August Lock recognizes you and lets you in automatically when you have your phone, then locks the door behind you. It also allows you to instantly invite people over through your phone and issue them a "key", and create a "VIP" list. You can give access for periods of time and revoke whenever you like. If only Don Draper had August Lock. You literally have your own door man.
Washer and dryers have needed a Smart facelift for a while, so Whirlpool created the Duet smart front loading washer and dryers that work with Nest. The pair understands when energy is low to run the laundry and the best times. When you're not home, the drier will refresh the laundry to ensure it is wrinkle free by the time you get home.
Being able to customize your lights when you come home to relax can be a huge game changer. Light can affect mood, ambiance, and energy levels. White light in particular can give you an energy boost, while dimming the lights can allow you to calmly reflect, or put you and your significant other in a romantic mood. Phillips Hue Personal Lighting are the perfect light bulbs for controlling your home lights all from one app. You can even create alarms so your lights go on and off automatically, all through your smartphone.
Control Non-Smart Devices
Need to control regular devices that aren't so smart? Using Bee-wi smart plugs, you can automate things like lamps, TV's, and other energy wasters which might be left on. Using wi-fi, you can use your smartphone to see which electronics were left on. Have the tendency to leave the curling iron on? No more running home and checking, simply use a smart plug and turn it off from the comfort of your office or car.
Keep the Kitchen Safe
Are you one of those people who leaves the stove on? Do you have a loved one who's aging and still insists on cooking for themselves and the thought of them starting a kitchen fire keeps you up at night? If so, Wallflower has created a product to monitor kitchen stoves and reduce kitchen fires. According to Wallflower, almost 50% of home fires are caused by unattended kitchen appliances, so having a smart device that can automate, manage, and control your kitchen can keep your family safe.
Automated everything and need a central hub? Use a device like Smart Things Hub, the device that connects the Internet of Things within your home. The home automation community is still a bit fragmented, with most companies trying to sync with first in-leader Nest, however, some devices still don't sync and the brilliance of home automation is that all the devices connect as one. Smart Things finds all the devices and allows them to talk so your home has one central controller, rather than 5 different apps, true automation.
What other amazing home devices have you found to help you automate your home?