The following contribution is from another author.
Over the past couple of decades, it seems that consumer technology has progressed faster than ever. Apple released the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad. The first folding touchscreen smartphone entered the market, and smart home devices started to appear.
In 2014 along came the Amazon Echo and kick-started a new era of smart home technology. Now there are devices available for helping you in nearly all areas of the household, and they keep on evolving as developers make advances and come out with new ideas.
The global smart home market is expected to be worth over $140 billion by 2023 and is growing rapidly.
A brief history of smart home devices
Before you start looking at what devices are available and what you might be fitting into your home soon, take a look at how it all began.
As early as 1933 there were promises of ‘The Home of the Future’, however, the necessary technology didn’t quite exist back then. Fast forward to 1966 and the first resemblance of a smart home device arrived.
Jim Westinghouse is widely regarded as the inventor of the first smart home device after he built a computer at home and attached various keypads and terminals in the family home. The computer behind this technology weighed 800lbs and took up four cabinets that together were 6ft high and 7ft wide. This was not like the slim, portable home devices that you know today.
However, it was the first computer that allowed control of the thermostat, TV, stereo system, and more. Nowadays, there are dozens of items on the market but they all owe something to the Echo IV.
The best smart home devices today
Here is a list of the best home devices put into appropriate categories for different areas of the home.
Kitchen smart devices
The kitchen is a ripe area for introducing smart devices so it is no surprise to find plenty of options here.
Sensate Kitchen Faucet
Starting this list with a tap might not seem so exciting but Save the Water has some alarming facts about water that might make you reconsider. These faucets come with different options including a voice-activated one that will pour the exact amount of water you ask for leaving no room for waste.
Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker
Ok, you will probably have to be pretty serious about your coffee to shell out $500 but Mr. Coffee lets you schedule your brewing for a week so you will have hot java every time you wake up. Through the app, you can start the machine wherever you are and it will let you know when it is ready and when it needs more water.
June Intelligent Oven
This cooker claims to be able to recognize food that is put into it and now how long to cook it for. It is a 12-in-1 cooker and uses food ID technology and programming to recognize over 100 different food types. It is also compatible with Alexa.
If you are considering prepping your home for a smart kitchen then there are many more options including smart fridges and hood vents with a built-in LCD TV.
General household devices
Some devices do not fit into one particular area of the house but are used to control or communicate with people or other smart devices. Here are some of those.
This is Google’s equivalent of the Amazon Echo. It is cheaper and comes with Google search but is squarely aimed at those consumers who have already invested in Google’s home ecosystem.
Amazon Echo Show
The Echo Show is an Alexa-enabled smart display that fits right into your home. They can be used for video calls, streaming, playing music, and they can be linked to Wyze cams so you can see who is at your front door. They come in different screen sizes and you can see some Echo Show reviews right here.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Another Google product but one that works with Alexa. This thermostat promises to program itself to save you money. It can monitor HVAC systems and send warnings when something isn’t right. The average person spends around $4,000 per year on electricity so any technology that can help reduce that must be good.
The home office devices
Many more people are now remote working, especially after the pandemic hit in 2020 so it makes sense to kit out your home office with a few gadgets.
Philips Hue Lighting
Actually, this lighting system is for the entire home and could even be used in the front and backyard. Energy-efficient lighting that can be adjusted to how you feel. Different modes to help you wake up, energize you, and to concentrate should help any home worker.
Table Air – Air Purifier
Clean air while working is essential for keeping alert and productive. An air purifier rids homes of allergens and pollutants and this one connects via WiFi to your smartphone. It removes odors and uses ultraviolet disinfection too.
One area that smart home devices have really grown in is home security. There are smart home devices that can monitor your whole home and warn you of any problems. Here are a few of the best ones you can buy today.
August Doorbell Cam
Have you ever wanted to know who is at the front door before answering? Many people would like to know, especially at night and if they are alone. The August Doorbell Cam integrates fully with Alexa and the Echo Show. Simply ask Alexa to show the front door and up pops the image on your Echo display; this one way to get smart with your security.
August Smart Lock
This device replaces your standard inside lock handle and works with all the main home assistants including Apple Homekit and Alexa. The smart lock allows you to use keys, finger touch, or voice control. You can also open the door remotely to allow in a visitor if you are too lazy to get out of your favorite chair.
Bathroom smart devices
The bathroom hasn’t been ignored when it comes to developer’s ideas. Here are a couple more devices for there.
Fitbit Aria Air
This smart scale fits into the Fitbit ecosystem but is useful for anyone that wants to set weight goals, track their history, check their BMI, and it connects to the Fitbit app.
Tech2O Bathroom TV Mirror
This may be the most extravagant home device on this list. This mirror doubles as a smart TV with built-in Freeview and comes with a water-proofed remote control. It comes in various sizes up to 65 inches and has a heated panel to stop the picture from steaming up while you soak in the bath.
There are many more smart devices that didn’t make this list and of course there are plenty of options for entertainment. There is the Singlecue Gesture Controller too which allows you to control all your TV and media devices just by making touch-screen gestures.
Whatever smart home devices you decide to choose by careful planning you can link them all together and unlike the house back in 1933, you really will be looking like you have the ‘Home of the Future’. As technology keeps advancing it will be up to you to try and keep up rather than the other way around.