What do people look for in a house in 2021? The design, interiors, neighborhood, ambiance, etc., all these aspects are the basic features people look for in a house, but there is another essential feature: a Smart Home. Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is a smart house? Ever seen the movie, Iron Man? If you have, you most likely remember Jarvis, yes the system that ran the Stark Mansion. How crazy would it be if you could control your house features simply by your voice? A smart home does exactly that.
Whatever you are looking for, whether a connected light bulb, thermostat, or security camera, you might want to start with these tried and tested smart home devices.
But before we get into the list of smart home devices, let us first see what Smart Home Technology means.
What is Smart Home Technology?
Picture this: what if you could connect all the various devices you have in your house to the internet? Your T.V, the washing machine, the lights, thermostat, speakers, clock, camera, dishwasher, etc. Everything and anything digital could link to the internet. And what if all these devices could communicate, answer your questions, share information, receive your commands? No, we are not discussing science fiction; we are talking about the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a key component of smart homes and home automation systems.
A smart home is what it sounds like: the ability to control the various devices and things around your house – from pet feeders, windows, shades, clock, coffee machine, anything and everything that can connect to the internet you can control with either your voice or a single button whichever you prefer. A few activities such as controlling a lamp or speaker at your whim are simple and relatively inexpensive. Other smart home features such as controlling the surveillance, advanced cameras, stuff like this require a good amount of money and time as an investment.
There is a wide range of smart home devices. Depending on your budget, need, and category, you can easily find a smart home device of your liking. Smart devices can also happen to make great gifts. If you are looking for a present and you are lost, you might want to consider smart home devices as an option. They especially make an awesome housewarming present. Here is a rundown of the best tried and tested smart home devices in 2021.
The first pick in the list falls under the (smart speakers and display) category. Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth-powered smart speaker that Alexa powers. Who is Alexa? Alexa is not a “who” but a “what”; Alexa is Amazon’s voice assistant. Alexa can connect directly with several smart home devices, and it works well. It might require some time and effort, but you will be able to control most gadgets around your house via Alexa with the sound of your voice.
For example, if you have a speaker you like, the inexpensive Echo Dot can connect to it and add the Alexa functionality. If you prefer a touch screen panel via which you can see search results and make video calls, you might consider the Echo Show 10, Echo Show 8, or Echo Show 5 as an option.
Google Nest Hub Family
If you prefer Google over Amazon Alexa, you will want to opt for Google’s Nest Hub line of speakers and smart displays. If you are looking for something big in size, the Google Home Max is a great option. It offers a great room-filling sound; as for smart displays, the Google Nest Hub Max is an attractive and bright option as it focuses on Google services. You have the Nest Audio, Nest Mini, and Nest Hub in the smaller size category, all of which are solid affordable alternatives.
If you cannot seem to decide on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, do not worry, you always have another option to opt for. The Sonos One can support both these popular voice assistants; based on sound quality, it is far better than other smart speakers available in its price range. The Sonos One can also connect to other Sonos speakers such as Arc, Move and Beam to deliver excellent sound quality and voice assistant access throughout the house.
So you want to add some smartness to your small home appliances such as the lamps, coffee makers, etc., the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 is the way to go. This outlet is unlike your regular outlet; it is an adaptable dual-outlet smart plug that you can operate with any android or iOS mobile app. It also works perfectly with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other such smart controls. However, it lacks IFTTT support, but you can make it work with other smart home devices utilizing HomeKit Scenes and Automations.
There are various smart devices available for the indoor, but what about the outdoors? The D-Link mydlink Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug is your savior. With this plug-in device, you can easily control your outdoor devices such as decorative lights, pool pumps, etc., using your phone and a mobile app. The device has a dual-outlet with a USB charging port. It is a weatherproof plug and supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and can easily connect with other smart home devices through the IFTTT applets.
The Arlo Ultra falls under the Home Security Camera category. This camera is unlike any other outdoor security camera, and it is the first-ever model that can stream and record videos in Ultra High Definition. The plus points of this outdoor security camera do not just end there. It also comes with cool tech such as automatic zooming, color night vision, motion detection, an integrated spotlight and siren system, a one-click 911 functionality, a complete 180-degree field of view, and so much more. Also, it is completely wireless and is very easy to install.
If you want to take advantage of all of Arlo Ultra’s features, you will have to sign up for one of Arlo’s subscription plans. Irrespective of this subscription requirement, this camera still gets top honors for its features.
The previous version of RemoBell introduced in the year 2017 was a great device; it was completely wireless, easy to install, and delivered a 720p video quality; the only disappointing features were its bulky aesthetic, slow performance, and lack of an on-demand HD video feature. However, the new RemoBell S is everything that its predecessor lacked.
It has a slick and slimmer design, provides on-demand HD video, free cloud recording, supports Alexa and Google Assistant voice command systems, and has IFTTT applets. However, the RemoBell S is not a completely wireless device and does require the usage of your existing doorbell wiring. However, it is still relatively easy to install and delivers excellent video quality and responsive motion-detecting service. Lastly, its price point serves as another of its best features.
Now, most people have pets that need looking after. This device serves not only just as a camera but also as a dog nanny, all-in-one. It offers you a clear 1080p video quality even in the dark, is equipped with barking alerts, has a two-way audio system so you can hear and interact with your dog. A two-way audio system is very essential in a pet camera as most times; dogs tend to get a little anxious.
In such cases, hearing the sound of their owner can help calm them down. This pet security camera also lets you toss treats to your pet when you are away. This device is, however, a bit pricey as compared to traditional security cameras. Still, it is quite useful and gives the owner its money’s worth by keeping track of the pet’s movements.
There are numerous smart home devices available in the market, each serving its specific purpose. There is nothing that technology and the internet cannot control. The above-listed devices are a few picks that one might want to invest in if interested in having a smart house. There are always other categories to look at, but a few picks such as security cameras, voice assistants, smart plug-ins are some of the most common devices required in a smart house. Hope this article was useful and has been able to provide you with some clarity.