This was not the easiest blog post to write. When I searched the internet for high tech gadgets for your home, I was brought to multiple lists that were full of really cool gadgets… Except they weren’t available. I noticed that people were compiling lists of devices, but a majority of them were not available to be purchased. They were a gadget that a company was working on or a device that someone had posted a Kickstarter for, but not things you could go to Amazon and pick up right now. I spent extra time weeding through the garbage to bring you 10 high tech gadgets for your home that you can get right now.
The Sense Home Energy Monitor is a small device you install in your home’s electrical panel. Once installed, the device starts monitoring your energy usage and reporting it to a mobile app. These reports can be used to adjust your energy usage and appliance settings to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The device is pretty simple to install and is wired directly into the panel so there are no batteries to change out. The app is customizable and the device will continue to learn and identify the appliances within your home. Once a new appliance is discovered, the app will alert you and you can label the device however you want. You can also setup the device with custom alerts such as if the oven has been left on or a sump pump has been running for more than 30 minutes. Being notified of these situations could help avert potential disasters. The Sense Home Energy Monitor sells for $299 on Amazon and the app is free with no subscription or recurring fees.
Heating your home accounts for a large part of your energy consumption. Using a device like the Nest Learning Thermostat can optimize your heating system, reducing your energy usage and lowering your utility bills. The Nest comes in two models, the original Nest and the Nest E. Both have pretty similar features and their biggest difference is in their appearance. After you install the Nest, as you adjust the heat for the next few days, turning it down when you go to bed, turning it up when you wake up and putting it in eco mode when you head to work, the thermostat learns your preferences and starts adjusting them automatically. It uses your phone’s location to know when you leave. The Nest Thermostat works with a free mobile app and there are no subscription or recurring fees. You can pick up the latest version of the Nest Thermostat on Amazon for $249.
The Samsung Smartthings system turns your regular home into a smart home. You install the Smartthings hub and then add Smartthings compatible devices to gradually turn your home into a smarter version of itself. The hub communicates with light bulbs, thermostats, outlets, home security sensors and even water leak sensors. Like the Nest Thermostat, the Smartthings hub can automatically turn your heater up when you wake up in the morning, but the Smartthings goes a step further. It can turn on your lights and coffee maker as well. When you leave the house, the system can automatically lock the doors and when you get back home it will automatically open the garage door. The Samsung Smartthings System works with a free mobile app and there are no subscription or recurring fees. You can buy the Samsung Smartthings hub on Amazon for $50 along with a large catalog of compatible devices.
There are many smart or remote lighting systems on the market, but BeON Home is a Remote lighting system designed specifically with home security in mind. The BeON Home system uses smart light bulbs to learn your habits and turn your lights on and off automatically. The fun doesn’t stop there though! You can use that memorized light pattern to make it look like you’re home even when you’re on vacation. You can program the lights to sense motion and turn on as you enter an area. The system will also listen for your doorbell and turn on lights in the house to make it appear like someone is home. Another thing the BeON Home will listen for us the smoke alarm. If the system hears the smoke alarm siren, it will automatically turn on the lights so you can find your way out of your house. One of the best features of the BeON Home lights is that they have a battery backup and can keep the lights on, even when the power goes out. The battery gives you 5 hours of light and can even go longer if you lower the brightness. The device works with a free mobile app and there are no subscription or recurring fees. You can get a pack of 3 bulbs on Amazon for $129.
The Neato BotVac is a robotic vacuum that can help keep your floors spotless. The base model D80/D85 can clean up to 3000 square feet in one cycle and will automatically dock to charge its Nickel Metal Hydride battery. The D7 can clean up to 5000 square feet in one cycle and does it with a high capacity lithium ion battery. The vacuum is easily scheduled and if it doesn’t complete a cycle on one charge, it automatically returns to its dock to charge and then returns to where it stopped to finish the job. You can also set up areas where the bot doesn’t vacuum in order to protect kids toys or pets food. The Neato BotVac has a free mobile app where you can see cleaning reports. There are no subscription or recurring fees. You can get various models of Neato BotVac on Amazon for between $400 and $700.
You could turn on the TV in the morning and have someone in front of a green screen tell you what to expect when you step outside. Or you could harvest that information yourself. The weather monitoring station by Ambient Weather uses its own wireless sensor array to gather weather information right there at your home. The system is integrated with Amazon Alexa so you can just ask it about the weather in your area and get an instant response. It also connects to the Wunderground app to give you personalized weather reports. The Wunderground apps are free and have no subscription or recurring fees. You can find the Ambient Weather Monitoring Station on Amazon for $130.
If you want to add some high tech features to your garage but don’t want to spend the money to upgrade your entire home, the Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub might be for you. Just install the smart hub in your garage and you can start controlling your garage door from a free mobile app. The app will alert you when the garage door is being operated. You can program the garage door to close at a certain time everyday so you never have to worry about who might have forgotten after everyone has left the house. The hub works with a bunch of other services like Nest and Google Assistant. You can get the Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub on Amazon for $79.
The Norton Core is a WiFi router with its own integrated security. The more wireless devices you have in your home, the more chances you have of getting hacked. The norton Core gives you network level security against viruses, hacking and identity theft. This network router protects all of your devices as long as they are connected to the WiFi. Use the built in parental controls to monitor screen time and limit website access. You can pause the internet on all devices if you want as well. Kids don’t want to do their chores? They’ll definitely hurry to get them done if the WiFi is paused. The free mobile app will allow you to manage your WiFi and network security right from the palm of your hand. There is a yearly subscription which is comes free for the first year when you purchase the device, but you will have you renew to continue getting all of the available features. I couldn’t find a subscription cost, but you can get the Norton Core WiFi Router on Amazon for $230 which includes to first year of subscription service.
For the ultimate music lover, Sonos already makes some pretty great products for your home or office. They have taken things a step further with the Sonos One by adding voice activation with Amazon Alexa integration. Just tell your Sonos One what you want to hear and it will start playing it. You can play music from 53 different music services including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, Sirius XM and Amazon Music. With all those services you can listen to music you own, local radio stations, custom playlists and even podcasts. You can link Sonos One speakers together and assign rooms so you can play music throughout your house or switch from one room to another. You can pair two Sonos One speakers together in the same room to get instant stereo sound. The speaker is also moisture resistant so you can use it in the bathroom without worrying about steam ruining the electronic components. The Sonos One has a free mobile app and there are no subscription or recurring fees. There could be subscription fees for some of the music services that the Sonos One connects to, but those are independent of the speaker itself. You can grab a Sonos One on Amazon for $199.
Most these home gadgets are going to help increase energy efficiency or improve security. The PlayStation VR (virtual reality) is strictly for fun… A lot of fun. Become completely immersed in every game you play with the PlayStation VR system. Using the headset, camera and Move controllers allows you to feel like you are actually inside the game as you play in virtual reality. You can get racing games, first person shooters and adventure games to play along with specialized games like Eagle Flight where you soar over the world from the perspective of an eagle. You will need a PlayStation 4 console to hook up to, but you can get a bundle that includes the VR headset, camera, Move controllers and a game for $349 on Amazon. This bundle comes with the game Worlds that gives you 5 unique VR worlds to explore. The London Heist, VR Luge, Danger Ball, Scavenger’s Odyssey, and Ocean Descent.
If you own any of these products or think of any other products that are awesome high tech gadgets, post them in the comments!