Owning a home is a big responsibility and requires constant effort to maintain. But thanks to new technology, some of that effort can be offloaded with just a few, inexpensive upgrades. Here are some new gadgets and upgrades every family should consider in their own home.
Don’t you wish you could have toilet paper delivered to your home by simply uttering the command, have your favorite music explode seemingly from nowhere by sheer will or change what’s on your TV with just your voice? Well, that future is today. Both Google and Amazon offer smart virtual assistants that can perform actions based on simple voice commands and more. You can get real-time weather updates, ask trivia questions, and make purchases with both products, and the best part is that both are in their infancy. The sky’s the limit when it comes to what these devices will be able to do in the future, making it a good investment for any new family.
Are you still carrying a key around? Well get ready to throw it away. Smart locks offer security and flexibility by allowing you to control who is able to get in and out of your home straight from your smartphone. Your deadbolt was probably one of the last things you thought should be “smart,” but intelligent locks have many features that fortify your home’s security. Locking and unlocking your door via your smartphone is just one of the basic functions, but some come equipped with webcams that show you who is at the door, let you create temporary keys, support auto-lock functions, have voice activation, and even geo-fencing capabilities.
Intelligent Smoke Alarms
Smoke detectors are pretty basic devices installed in most homes and they do their jobs fairly well. But they’re old technology we take for granted. Are the batteries in yours dead? Or did you already take them out because it was beeping at you. Pros and cons of home security systems usually feature these problems. The Nest Protector sheds a light on all the unknowns. Controlled from an app on your phone, the Protector gives off a warning before an alarm is set. It can tell you where there is an issue and what you can do about it. And if you’ve burned something on the stove, you can easily silence the alarm from your phone. One of the best features is its ability to send you an alert when you’re away so you know if something goes wrong while you’re not at home.
Little Free Library
This one comes right out of left field. What’s a little free library you ask? Think of it like a mailbox for books. The idea is that you build a small box that stands on a post outside of your home. You fill the box up with books that your neighbors can then borrow, like a library, and return when they’re finished. Some of the best little free libraries were built to look just like the owner’s home. It’s a great project to work on as a family, increase the home’s curb-side appeal, and help make your neighborhood a little friendlier.
Installing a smart thermostat is such a good idea, even power companies are urging customers to have them installed by offering smart thermostats for free. What makes a thermostat smart? Well, you’ve probably guessed it by now, the ability to access it from anywhere. But some devices take it a step further, like the Nest Thermostat, which learns your habits and employs them automatically over time. This helps you save money and conserve energy. It practically pays for itself.
Perhaps one day homes will be smart enough to maintain themselves, but until then, these upgrades are a great place to start.