12 Gadgets to Make Your House Smarter

Turning your home into Smart Home is not easy at all. The technology does not yet integrate a 360º solution that is effective enough, but here the technology engineer and researcher, Oded Kariti, leaves the best gadgets so that you can start making your home more and more intelligent.

The future of our homes goes through converting them into more efficient homes. Either implementing standards such as Passivhaus or passive houses, or adopting new technologies that help us have more control. The combination of both will lead us to have smart homes with minimum energy consumption.

It sounds good, right? Having a smart home and a very small electricity bill is an achievable dream.

However, the smarthome technology is still in its infancy. It is diversified and although there are many things we can do, it still has a long way to go.

So, what can we do to turn our home into a smart home?  Below, Oded Kariti shares a list of the 12 most useful gadgets.

Voice assistants

‘You’re going to leave the house, it’s cloudy, do I need an umbrella?’

A quick question about weather and your home assistant tells you what the forecast is. Having a smart home is easy with the tools that Amazon, Apple or Google offers us. Here the are best voice assistant which can help you turn your home into a smart home.

  1. Echo & Alexa from Amazon. The Echo device and speaker next to the voice assistant Alexa form an interesting combination to make housing smarter. Kariti shares that, although, at the moment it is still a bit limited, we can integrate Alexa with intelligent products and order it to turn on lights (Philips Hue), open windows, etc. In addition, with their skills we can access a lot of useful information and organize our day.
  2. Google Home. “Google Assistant and Google Home are similar to Amazon’s Echo, a speaker and smart device which we can ask to control the house” says the technology engineer, Oded Kariti, who has a number of research publications in the field of technology..
  3. Home Kit & Siri from Apple. Actually, Home Kit is an app that brings together all of Apple’s home automation products. However, the investment to have them all is high. Of course, if you decide for this you can control doors, windows, temperature, lights, fans, doorbells, cameras, etc. from a mobile device, and even just using your voice, directing you to Siri.

Digital thermostats

As you should know, controlling the temperature of your home is important if you want to control the consumption of energy. More and more digital thermostats become more sophisticated and useful. They are, undoubtedly, an essential part in a smart home.

  1. Nest smart thermostat. This is an intelligent thermostat that learns from your habits to regulate the temperature of your home according to your tastes. After a first week of learning, Nest is turned on so you have breakfast with the temperature you like and lower it when it detects that there is no one in the house. In Kariti’s opinion it is undoubtedly a great investment, especially for those who do not have thermostats or have a manual one. A great option for energy saving and automation.
  2. Ecobee3 Smart WiFi Thermostat. This intelligent thermostat allows us to control the temperature and consumption of the air conditioning of the house. We can control it from an app thanks to the fact that it connects to the Wifi in our home. Although it does not learn from our habits, it is easily programmable. In addition, the third generation version works with Amazon Alexa, and also with the Apple Kit. Oded Kariti notes on his blog that it is a good combination if you want to equip your house as Smart home.

 

Illumination

Recently Oded Kariti told you that you can save more than 80% in lighting with LED luminaires. However, in a smart home he goes further to the point of controlling the bulbs completely. Even from a smartphone:

  1. Philips Hue Bulbs: These types of Philips-designed bulbs allow you to control color, intensity, contrast to create different environments in your home. And always with the most efficient technology, with LED bulbs. You can control them from any smart device such as a tablet or smartphone. “The ones from Philips are not the only option on the market, but those that offer more features. If you do not need your bulbs to change color, for example, and you just want to be able to turn them on and off remotely, you can find other affordable options in the market to set up your smart home” says Oded Kariti in a recent post on his Facebook page.

 

Security and detectors

Until now we had to subcontract security companies to monitor our home. New technologies combined with the smart home concept allow us to take care of our home. Here Kariti point out some gadgets to control the security of your home:

  1. Netgear Arlo Pro. This is a home surveillance system that you can easily install in your home. Without wires, with great autonomy, and saves surveillance videos in the cloud. It is also capable of sounding an alarm to deter thieves. One of its advantages is that you can see what is happening at home from your mobile device, through your app. “If you are going to monitor the exterior of your home, do not worry, Arlo resists wind, snow, rain and high temperatures” says Oded.
  2. LG Smart Security Wireless Camera. It goes beyond the case of Netgear Arlo, it also allows you to automate the interior of the house. Detects humidity and room temperature, detects movement at home, etc. In this case it is designed for the interior of the house.
  3. Notion Home Sensor. This is a ‘home awareness’ detector. It is not defined as a professional security device but it does control the environment of your home so you are aware of everything. According to Kariti, it tells you when a door or windows opens, about temperature variations, if you have a water leak, it is a smoke detector, etc. And everything configurable to let you know when something happens during hours you are working. This way you can detect unauthorized entries.
  4. Nest Protect. It is a smoke and carbon dioxide detector, without more features. However, since you are connected to a mobile app via WiFi, you can find out if there is smoke at home even if you are at work through notifications. And you can even make a direct call to emergencies. It can be also easily disabled from any mobile device.

 

Cleaning

Some tools allow us to save time and money cleaning our smart home. Cleaning robots are increasingly seen, also in traditional homes.

  1. iRobot Roomba. It is a cleaning robot that sweeps, sucks, passes the mop and even scrubs the floor. Depending on the model, you can do more or less things. Oded Kariti share in his seminars, although the Roomba is an expensive gadget, there are cheaper versions like the Conga. Of course, a great advantage of the Roomba is that you can control it with Alexa or Google Assistant and incorporate the robot to your smart home.
  2. Bosch X-Spect Scanner. This tool can be especially interesting for newcomers who do not have much experience with washing machines. As Kariti further explains, this gadget is a scanner that when we approach it to our dirty presses, detect the type of material, and how we should wash it to clean that horrible stain that we made during dinner.

With these gadgets that Oded Kariti has selected, you can start building your own smart home and control the energy consumption of your home.

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