In the ‘90s, installing home automation devices required a lot of hard work—and a ton of knowledge (and research, and wires). When they worked, they were very cool. But when they didn’t work, which was often, they were near impossible to fix (unless, of course, you were a dedicated geek). Omit the installation of a central hub and all the other now unnecessary crap and enter 2014 (er, almost 2015!). Now, making your home “work for you” is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Choose your product of choice
- Purchase your product of choice
- Plug in your product of choice
OK, so not all of the products are actually that easy, but some of them really are! For you, or the geek on your Christmas list, here’s the ultimate home automation gift guide.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Learning Thermostat may seem a bit overpriced ($249), but thanks to the built-in sensors that monitor your usage, adjusting the temperature automatically when it senses no one is home, you’ll start seeing lower energy bills which, in my opinion, is way worth it. Control the system from your smartphone or the web to make sure it’s nice and warm when you get home from work (or play).
Introducing the future of cutting grass—the Miimo. Much like the Roomba, the vacuum cleaner that works all on its own, the Miimo mows the grass with no supervision. A small wire is set up around the grass perimeter which lets the mower know where and where not to go. It shaves small pieces (.08 to .11 inches) of grass at a time, several times a week, and turns them into compost so you don’t have to bag the cutting. It even drives itself to the charging dock after the mowing is complete. It even cuts in a random pattern so less stress is put on the grass, allowing for more healthy growth and reducing moss and weeds, Honda claims. The 360° sensor enables the Miimo to stop and go in another direction if something is in the way.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
Wi-Fi enabled WeMo connects your appliances or electronic devices to your WiFi network, allowing you to control your devices from afar. Download the WeMo app to monitor on your smartphone or tablet to monitor your usage, set up customized notifications, or change your device status from anywhere. Seriously. Anywhere! Switch on your fireplace while you’re on your way home so the house is nice and toasty for you when you arrive. Control your washer, dryer, A/C unit, etc. all from the comfort of wherever you are. Does your child have a daily TV limit? Kids playing video games instead of doing homework? Thanks to WeMo you can monitor their usage from work and turn it off when their time is up. Sorry kids—don’t blame me, blame technology.
Tricking out your home this holiday season? Here are even more gifts to choose from:
Did I miss any good ones? Will you be adding any of these products to your home this season? Comment below, or email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)