The Top 8 Smart Home Gifts of 2017
Whether you've owned your home for decades or just finished unpacking boxes, every house can stand a luxurious upgrade. From machines that can sense an imminent flood to tiny pods that can bring take-out straight to your door, smart home technology has never been more fascinating. Find this year's best holiday gift with our smart home guide below.
As one of the smart home market's first "home assistants," Amazon's Echo has set the standard for cool, creative, and crazy commands. Order pizza, call and Uber or even order your next purchase from Amazon with only your voice. Have some fun with your Echo and learn all the latest commands here.
A sidekick to the Echo, Spot is the answer to your prayers when it comes to an alarm clock. Check the news, find song lyrics, and listen to your favorite Audible books from your bedside table. For those who already own an Amazon Echo, the Spot is a perfect follow-up for a smart home lover.
Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google has created its own virtual assistant - the Google Home. Known for quick searches, near-human conversations, and a canny ability to explain complex driving directions, Google Home may have Alexa beat. Get a full-scale comparison of the Google Dot vs. Alex here.
As going green fuels the tech fire, Nest created a solution to excessive energy bills. Nest's smart thermostat knows when you're home, learns your energy preferences, and strategizes your home's energy use to make you comfortable. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it can potentially save you in wasted bills. Whether you're forgetful with switching your heater off or simply want more money to spend on home decor, Nest can solve a world of problems.
While the clap-on, clap-off lights of the 1980s might be novel, Phillips Hue has found a way to connect an overlooked technology to our new smart home. Connect these lights to wifi, sync with your app, Echo, or Google Home, and have the power of light in your hands - without leaving the couch. Not only do they make setting the mood easier, but they also last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs. Find the best Hue package and features for you here.
Not to be left out of the innovation, another long-forgotten home technology - the doorbell - has found a way to be modern. Mostly for safety, partly for entertainment, the Ring Video Doorbell lets you get a look at your delivery guy, weirdo neighbor, and even the in-laws before they step foot in your house. Get the perfect Ring to match your curb appeal here.
A diffuser may be more about comfort than security, but this one may become a necessity once you use it. This smart-home accessory, designed to respond to voice commands and an app, scents can be adjusted, timed, and set to fit any situation.
This customizable, DIY home security system goes well beyond a simple alarm. With humidity and light sensors, vibration-reading technology to anticipate a window breaking, and motion-detecting cameras, the system's best quality is its simplicity - you don't need a handyman to install this system. Buy what you need, set it up in minutes, and rest assured in your home's safety.