Trendy In-Home Tech Devices Control Everything for You

From temperature and TVs to garage doors and tunes, there’s a gadget for that.


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Photo courtesy of Amazon

So you think you have plenty of technology in your house? Guess again. Innovators have smartened up everything from your “assistant” to your sprinkler system, not to mention your home security, cooling and heating, and how you get into your house in the first place. Maybe your home isn’t exactly dumb, but it may not be the smartest. Take a look at these new innovations in home technology than can smarten up your home, sweet home.

Let’s start with the basics, in case you (like me) haven’t embraced Alexa or bought her a Christmas stocking to hang on the mantel yet. I expect we’re missing out. Amazon’s second-generation Echo smart speaker comes in a bunch of cool new designs (like a stylin’ oak finish). Let Alexa play your fave tunes, call the babysitter, set your alarms, and control a slew of other household devices. She now sings out in Dolby. She’ll check the A’s scores, run the garage door and the lights, and order you a ride. She’ll definitely be your best friend. Got enough Amazon in your life? Try Google Home Assistant, which can also control your Chromecast TVs.

Netgear’s Arlo Smart Home security system keeps an HD-equipped eye on things for you, including live streaming, two-way audio, free cloud recording, and instant alerts. Big Brother has never seemed so neighborly. View a live feed, record videos, and keep the past seven days on up to five cameras for free. Smile for the birdie!

If you haven’t already, embrace The Jetsons’ lifestyle with an automatic vacuum. Get yourself an iRobot Roomba 614 that requires no programming and detects extra-dirty corners for especially intelligent cleaning. It works on carpets and floors and never complains, unlike whichever kid you normally have vacuum the house. Samsung’s Powerbot pro is getting raves for getting to that excess pet hair, and works with Alexa and Google Assistant — so it’s win-win.

After battling the traffic to get home, you really don’t want to have to mess with your garage door. Chamberlain’s MYQ Garage welcomes you home effortlessly, working with your smartphone and sending you alerts should your garage door open unexpectedly. It works handily with lots of your other devices and (supposedly) is easy to install.

Feeling chilly? The Ecobee4 Thermostat (yes, you can talk to Alexa on it — or  use Google Assistant with it) sets a timer to keep you calm and collected all day and night, plus, it can hear you from across the room. Sensors keep the rooms just the temp you like.

God is in the details: Pick up a handy, compact Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini to control your devices from anywhere. Or ask Alexa or Google, and it will tell the Kasa what to do. You’ll be able to switch on electronics and lights when you’re away to look like someone’s home with this friendly device that’s small enough to fit in your hand — or blend in easily with your decor.

So get ready, and get smart.

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