Remember back in the day when you would get up and go into work without a cell phone? You would come home in the evenings and gather around the TV to watch the 6 o’clock news to find out what had gone on throughout the day. It was a simpler time.
Today, the things around us in this world have became so smart, we barely need to do anything ourselves! There are so many cool devices that can connect to it and make your life easier, all you need is an internet connection. Everything from lights to window blinds can become a smart device, and most of them can even be connected to a smart speaker that can be activated just by saying the words out loud. Life is getting smarter – and more fun! - every single day. Here is a list of the top 10 smart gadgets that you can buy for under $200!
By this time, most people know “who” Alexa is and what the smart speaker is all about. Basically, you have a question, you go ahead and ask Alexa for an answer. The smart speaker can play music, Google things for you, tell you the weather or she can even make a to-do list for you. New for 2018, the Amazon Echo has come out with a new, nicer looking design and the price has been dropped. The Amazon Echo 2nd Generation can now be bought for only $129, making it more affordable than it was in previous years. For the small price of the Amazon Echo, it is still being named the number 1 smart speaker, even over the Google Home… for now.
The ring video doorbell takes doorbells to the next level. Ever wonder who’s at your door while you’re at work? When someone gets close to your door, the ring app will ring on your phone and then you can watch a video of whatever is at your door. Not only can you see the entity at your door, but you can also speak to the person as well. The ring app records the movement at your door, allowing you to monitor anyone who might be up to no good. The ring app reduces local crime and there have been many interesting events caught on these little cameras. Sometimes, you may even have an unexpected visitor such as the little guy in the video seen here. The ring doorbell can be purchased for $99 for the base version and can go all the way up to $499 with the Elite version with 1080HD video, custom motion zones and a larger field of view.
Ever have a hard time trying to find your keys in the bottom of your purse? I can’t be the only one…! With the August Smart lock, you’ll never need to use your keys again! The installation is surprisingly easy as the smart lock just works with your existing deadbolt, you can install in minutes! Use your phone as your key and the Bluetooth will auto-unlock your door as you approach it. The phone app will also auto-lock your door as you are leaving. You can even send keyless access to your family and friends if you can’t be there to let them in. What a great way to let your guests in if you are running an AirBnb. The August Smart lock even works with Alexa, Google Home and Siri, you don’t even need to pull out your phone, just tell your smart speaker to lock or unlock your door! The August Smart Lock sells for $184 without the smart speaker integration or $279 for the lock that works with your Amazon Echo etc.
Don’t have a smart home just yet? The Wemo Mini Smart Plug can literally turn anything that plugs in into a smart object. Perhaps you’re away on a trip and you want to control your lights with your smartphone, plug your lights into this little smart plug and voila, you can turn your lights on from virtually anywhere as long as you have a wifi connection. You can even set your lights to randomize so that they will come on at different times to make it appear as if you are at home when you aren’t – this would have been great for Kevin in Home Alone! You can set automatic schedules for any device that is plugged in, never walk into a dark house again with the Wemo Smart plug! Of course, the Wemo Smart Plug connects with your smart speakers and you can tell Alexa to turn on your lights when you wake up in the morning. This cute little device could be yours for only $49.99, making it our cheapest smart home gadget.
Ever heard of sous vide cooking before? I am sure you have heard of a crock pot and know how exciting it can be to come home to dinner already being ready. The only problem with the crock pot is that you need to make sure that you turn it on the right time and have it on the right temperature setting. With the Anove Precision Cooker, all you need to do is put your food into a ziplock bag, put that bag in a pan, and boom, you will cook the best food you have ever tasted! No more overcooking, no more mediocre results, and… it can all be done by the touch of your finger! As long as you have the food in the bag and in the pot, you can control what time and temperature you want your food to start at just by logging into the app from wherever you are! Also, their app comes with 1000+ great recipes. You can pick up your own Anove sous vide for $169.
Track more than just weight with this smart scale! QardioBase measures your weight, calculates your BMI and tracks changes in your body composition (muscle, fat, water, bone) automatically. Smart feedback replaces numbers with smileys letting you focus on long-term progress with less stress and more results. This scale is so smart that it recognizes each family member automatically and it even offers a special pregnancy mode for moms to be. Once the scale has been paired with the app on your phone, each time you step on it, it will automatically update in the app. Now that’s a smart scale! Start tracking more than just your weight today for a cool $168.
We always hope that we will never need to use our smoke detectors, but if, heaven forbid, smoke was detected in your home, the best detector available is the Nest Protect. Nest Protect can let you know the difference between burning toast in the kitchen and a full-blown fire in your home. The Nest Protector detects more than just smoke, it can also detect carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is the silent killer because you can’t see or smell it. The Nest Protect has the most accurate type of carbon monoxide sensor available. This detector lets you know if there are any problems with a friendly human voice so that a small thing like smoke from the bacon frying, doesn’t need to give you a heart attack from a loud siren. Once the Nest goes off, you can easily silence it from the app on your phone. The Nest Protect also tests itself over 400 times a day which is much more than the regular monthly test that we are supposed to be doing. You can get your own Nest Protect for $164.
Check out our listing at 4 Sundew Court in Stittsville. This home is equipped with a Nest Thermostat and Nest Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Just about everything in your home can be smart, right down to your light bulbs! With the Philips Hue lights, you can tune, dim and control your LED light bulbs from anywhere right from your smartphone. You can set your lights to come on at a certain time every day, or if you are away and want it to look like you are home, you can randomize the lights. You can even program your lights to automatically dim at a certain time of day. Don’t like the regular white coloured lights? No problem! With the smart light bulbs, you can change the colour to suit your mood at any time. Of course, these light bulbs are also compatible with smart home speakers, so you can ask Alexa to turn your lights on and off. The Phillips Hue light starter kit comes with 4 bulbs and can be yours for $109.
Have you ever got home from a big grocery shop and begin to prepare dinner only to find out that you forgot to pick up butter? You could purchase a $3,000 Samsung Smart Refrigerator which will basically restock itself – or you could buy the GeniCan! The GeniCan provides the simplest way to remember all of your groceries. As you throw out your food, you can scan the items, or simply speak to the GeniCan to automatically add your disposed items to your grocery list. The GeniCan is compact and easily attaches onto any garbage or recycling bin. The little device can also connect with Amazon Dash Replenishment to automatically order and ship specific items immediately as they are scanned. The cute little GeniCan comes in 3 colours and can be yours today for only $149.
With MySmartBlinds you can save energy and money with your blinds controlling the light and heat that comes into your home on a daily basis – that’s right, this smart gadget can actually save you money! These super smart blinds control the temperature and lighting in your home so you don’t have to. Their built-in temperature sensors can automatically control the perfect temperature for you and your home. Turn on energy savings mode and your smart blinds will start optimizing your savings, these blinds will virtually pay for themselves! Of course, the smart blinds can be integrated with your smart speaker, so you can ask Alexa to open or close your blinds whenever you want. The automation kit will cost you $139 – blinds not included.
So, there you have it! Our entire home is getting smarter and smarter every day. Never turn on your lights, unlock your door, or forget your groceries again with the newest smart items that technology has to offer. As long as your phone battery doesn’t die – or the power doesn’t go out – we should be fine.