17 Tech Gadgets That Will Transform Your Home
Sleep Number It Bed
Who needs a sleep tracker when you have a bed that can tell you everything you could ever want to know about your sleeping habits? With built-in sensors, the Sleepnumber It bed will track your sleep, body movements, breathing, and heart rate to give you insight on how you can get a good night’s rest. And like other Sleep Number beds, you can adjust the firmness on your side based on the It bed’s recommendations.
To buy: starts at $1,000, itbed.sleepnumber.com.
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
Meet the fridge of the future. With a Wi-Fi touchscreen, the Family Hub fridge lets you view your calendar, notes, recipes, and the weather forecast. Plus, you can watch TV shows or movies, or stream music through the screen. At the grocery store and don’t remember if you have milk? There’s an interior camera that lets you peek inside your fridge through an app. Or, if you don’t feel like heading to the market, you can order groceries straight from the fridge.
To buy: $5,000, available in Spring 2016, samsung.com.
Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt
Never get locked out again: This device goes above and beyond the standard deadbolt to keep you and your family safe. Keep an eye on your teenagers’ comings and goings by giving them their own access code—or create temporary codes for the dog walker and house sitter. The lock connects to Apple’s HomeKit, a free app for your iOS device that allows you to lock and unlock on the go with Siri.
To buy: $229, schlage.com.
Click and Grow
Does your black thumb get in the way of everything—even the easiest herbs? Get all the benefits of your own herb garden without the stress of repeatedly murdering basil plants with Click and Grow, an indoor planter that (as the name suggests) grows your favorite herbs worry-free. This “smart soil” releases nutrients and maintains the necessary pH balance, and an in-unit sensor tracks all the nitpicky details (like light, water, oxygen, and nutrient levels) so you can enjoy the results without the work.
To buy: $60, clickandgrow.com.
No one likes leaving their pets home alone, but wouldn’t you feel better letting Fido roam if you could keep a close eye on his every movement? Enter this device, which lets you spy and play with your pets from anywhere with Wi-Fi. Using your smartphone, connect to the HD camera to supervise even when you’re far from home.
To buy: $199, petcube.com.
Nighttime over-heaters rejoice: You can spend the night with your furnace of a partner without sacrificing sleep quality. The BedJet directs a gentle stream of cool (or warm!) air into the bed— ideal for taming stuffy rooms and seasonally modulating your bedroom temperature without wasting money on air conditioning and heat. Better yet, the dual-zone upgrade allows you and your bedmate to choose your own temperatures—so you can cool down while his chilly toes heat up.
To buy: $499, bedjet.com
Upgrade your home security system with Netatmo, a super-intelligent camera with the ability to recognize individual faces. Place it facing your front door and the system logs each face it sees, noting whether it’s grandma, your kids, or you—if it spots a stranger, it will immediately notify your smartphone. Worried a bulky security camera will compromise your thoughtful home decor? Netatmo’s anodized aluminum exterior will complement any style.
To buy: $199, netatmo.com
Instead of having both artwork and gaudy speakers, why not combine the two into one? Install Soundwall, an audiovisual experience that looks like a painting and sounds like a dream. Select a display from a huge selection of artist creations, upload your own photos and artwork, or choose a blank canvas. Use your smartphone to stream your favorite music through your new, super-chic speakers.
To buy: From $325, soundwall.com.
You’ll be in control of everything in your house with this slim and sleek voice-controlled device. You can play music and ask virtual assistant Alexa questions about the weather, the news, or just about anything under the sun. It also syncs up with other smart home devices like WeMo, Philips Hue, and Samsung SmartThings so you can control everything from one place.
To buy: $180, amazon.com
Make your fridge door your family’s command center with Triby, a smart magnet that does more than record notes—although you certainly can scribble down reminders on its message board, which connects to a smartphone app to share doodles and reminders on the go. Make hands-free phone calls through WiFi on your cell phone using its two speed-dial buttons and stream music from Spotify or your favorite FM station while you cook dinner.
To buy: $200, amazon.com.
Hosting a house party or handing your home over to your house-sitting niece for the weekend? Point observes the environment and alerts you on your smartphone to any out-of-the-ordinary occurrences, like excess sound, cigarette smoke, or a window breaking. The gadget also monitors your home’s temperature and humidity, so you can ensure your AC and heater are in check even when you’re gone.
To buy: $99, minut.com.
Plexidoor Electronic Pet Door
Burglars sneaking in through your doggie door might seem like a scene ripped out of the movies, but better safe than sorry—and the first step is making sure only your pup has direct access. This high-tech door uses RFID technology to read a special tag on your pet’s collar, preventing access from neighborhood tomcats and wandering pigeons, too.
To buy: $1,249, homedepot.com
Keen Home Smart Vent
A smart vent may not be the most exciting smart home purchase, but you won’t want to skip this one based on the glamour factor alone. These beautiful faceplates work in any existing vent, and connect to each other via radio to regulate the temperature throughout your home—and save you mega-money on your utility bills.
To buy: $79, keenhome.io
Eager to start your garden, but not sure which plants work best? Install this smart monitor, which continually evaluates your soil, keeping you up-to-date with any potential nutrition or moisture issues that could affect your precious plants. Are your plants getting what they need? Edyn will let you know—and give you useful tips to help them grow.
To buy: $100, homedepot.com.
If you're prone to singing sessions in the shower or just need some music to get you going in the morning, connect your smartphone or tablet to the Aquatunes speaker via Bluetooth. The water-resistant device can be attached to your shower rail for easy listening. When you’re not using it, you can put it in its dock to charge.
To buy: $149, grohe.com/us
Smart Wi-Fi Plug With Energy Monitor
This plug charges not one, but two USB devices the most efficient way possible and can be paired with an app that allows you to remotely control the connected devices anywhere in the world. If you don’t want to have to think twice about what you did or didn’t unplug, you can set weekly schedules to turn off devices when you’re not home to save energy. A screen displays the wattage, voltage, and current used by all the connected devices, so you can properly manage your energy use.
To buy: $50; gosimplehome.com.
Blink Indoor Camera System
In the blink of an eye, you can have a complete home security set up with the Blink Indoor Camera system. It’s simple, stylish, and does not have a subscription fee, unlike most other security systems. Here’s how it works: when the device detects motion, it immediately starts recording HD video, which will be sent right to your phone (you can even view it in real time). It’s also wire-free, so you can place and move it around as you please, it sends instant alerts straight to your smartphone with the free Blink app, and the battery lasts up to two years—now that’s some brilliant technology.
To buy: $99; blinkforhome.com.