Turn your apartment into a smart home with these essential internet-enabled devices that promise to make life easy
The creators of The Jetsons cartoon were well ahead of their time – and while we’re not living in a world quite like that yet, it’s evident that technology is becoming more and more integrated into our lifestyle. Of the plethora of smart home devices available, choosing the right products that make life better can prove to be a challenging task. So, here’s a little help with the basics, followed by a handy list of gadgets to get you started.
Smart home platforms
Whether you choose Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, these are great integrators of all smart devices. Over thousands of products – from lighting and thermostat settings to even home security – are integrated with such voice assistants. Alexa boasts over 7,000 third-party integrations, making it one of the most comprehensive ecosystems of its kind. Such systems become a one-stop command centre that’ll ensure you always have the right mood, music and functional settings to suit your needs.
Must-have smart home products:
Nest Cam. This Wi-Fi-controlled camera films in HD, boasts sharp night vision, two-way audio (if you want to yell at any misfits), digital zoom and the option to store footage on cloud.
Smart, keyless locks by August. These keep track of visitors, allow access remotely to people of your choice and, most importantly, ensure you never get locked out of your own home – as long as you have your phone with you.
Philips Hue bulbs. These control colour and intensity of lights on-command, allow you to create special colour-coordinated moods, alarms and/or sync with music. Lifx is another excellent option in LED products that understands complex and patterned settings.
Sensibo Sky or Ecobee4. These will help you control your AC from anywhere, anytime, and understand multiple commands or pre-sets.
FireTV Cube by Amazon. A hands-free steaming media player, this is basically the Alexa for your media needs.
LG Smart ThinkQ and Samsung SmartThings. Simply put, control your washing machines, dryer and refrigerator remotely. What we love about Samsung’s platform is that, without you needing to open the refrigerator, it can provide you with a grocery list!
Belkin Wemo. Just plug in a device into this smart plug and be able to control it using your mobile device. This is the simplest way to get smart.