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It seems like only yesterday that the Internet of Things was a pipe dream, spoken about breathlessly on conference stages around the world by tech CEOs proclaiming all the ways that interconnected technology would change the home forever. In fact, that was only three or four years ago. Since then, smart home technology has rapidly blossomed from a dream and a gimmick into a legitimate force and a cornerstone of some households.
But while the average consumer might be content to dip their toe into smart home technology with an Amazon Echo on their kitchen table or a Nest thermostat on their wall, the true technology maven must look beyond the typical to devices that unlock their home’s true potential.
These are four smart home devices that every techie needs.
There’s never a convenient time to answer the door. Whether you’re laser focused on a project, right in the middle of a multiplayer match, or just don’t want to speak to someone face-to-face, an unannounced knock on the door is an unwelcome intrusion.
Video doorbells like Ring Video Doorbell Pro fix that problem with two-way audio and one-way video so you can see and talk to (but not be seen by) your visitor from your smartphone or tablet. Best of all, devices like Ring are equipped with motion detectors that send you notifications, keeping you aware of anything that is happening on your doorstep even when you’re not home.
More tech in the home can mean a more expensive energy bill every month, so it’s smart to find efficiencies wherever you can. Smart lightbulbs like Philips Smart Bulbs are energy efficient and can be programmed to dim or shut off at different times of the day.
Outside of the cost-saving benefits, smart bulbs can include features like voice activation or pair with motion sensors so you don’t even need to walk to a switch to turn them on.
The more smart home devices you add, the more you will need one central command hub to route them through. Hubs like Samsung SmartThings or Wink Hub 2 connect wirelessly to all of your devices and allows them to speak to each other.
In practice, this means you can automate all of your smart devices through one port. Want the lights to turn on, the temperature to rise, and music to start playing when you walk into your house? A hub lets you do that with the press of a button.
Some of the most exciting technological advances are taking place in the cooking industry, with wireless integration in traditional appliances making for easier and more effective cooking.
A smoker is one of the most underrated cooking tools that any food enthusiast can own, doubly so if you ever host friends for dinner. Smart smokers like Masterbuilt’s Bluetooth Smart Digital Electric Smoker allow you to control and monitor your meat from anywhere using your phone. They even let you monitor the internal temperature of the meat, taking out any of the guesswork and leaving you with some of the easiest, most delicious meals you’ve ever made.