When we talk about technology, we often focus on new tech that streamlines our professional to-do lists, like new email software, or tech that helps to alleviates travel headaches, like GPS with traffic intel. But what about tech solutions that make our homes run smarter and our everyday life, well, easier?
Smart technology not only simplifies our lives, but it can also help save us money and make our homes more secure. But, like any conversation around technology, it can be tough to know where to begin. There are so many devices out there – some of which claim incredible things, like the ability to transform your life with the push of a button. So how do you distinguish what’s actually useful from what’s just hype?
To help you get started with integrating valuable technology into your home and everyday life, we came up with a short list of the top three life-enhancing gadgets that can make a positive difference from day one. Dip your toe in and see what you think!
Smart lighting and heating hubs
Wasted electricity and heating aren’t so great for the environment…or your wallet. In fact, according to home thermostat company, Nest, over 60% of your energy bill goes towards heating, and how much you spend depends on how well your heating system is controlled.
Smart hubs remember your heating requirements and can be set to match your actual day-to-day schedule, maintaining a precise temperature at each stage in the schedule. Hubs can also be linked to smart LED light bulbs and use motion sensors to detect when a room is occupied, and then change the lighting accordingly.
No heating of empty rooms or lights accidentally left on? Now that is a thing of beauty.
Home locking and garage doors
Do you have a smartphone? Can you enable your Bluetooth connection? Then you are ready to use a smart home lock! With a smart home lock you can lock and unlock the doors to your home from afar. And some smart locks not only enable or disable home access, but also send you real-time images from your home. You can see who’s ringing that doorbell even if you’re not home to hear it.
By using assigned keys, smart locks relay all kinds of information to you about who – of those you have given permission to – is coming in and out of your house and when. Even garage doors are getting in on the act, working via a touchscreen command.
So the next time one of your kids loses a key and you’re stuck at the office, or you forget to feed the dog and your neighbor steps in to help, no problem – access granted!
Sleep is a precious, precious thing. And it’s not just the amount of sleep, but the quality of sleep that matters. White noise apps can be very effective at drowning out outside sounds – 2 a.m. car alarm, anyone? – and lull you into dreamland. There are so many white noise apps available. All you need to do is take a gander at the app store on your smartphone and see which one works the best for you. Then plug in your phone, turn on the app, turn off the light and get ready for some uninterrupted beauty rest!
If falling asleep isn’t the problem, but instead it’s the persistent feeling of sluggishness, even after a solid eight hours of sleep, a fitness tracker may be your answer. By tracking your sleep patterns, you can see how often you woke up, when you finally entered REM sleep and start to identify the factors that are keeping you from feeling truly rested.
Power usage, security and sleep – the perfect beginner’s trifecta of every-day home tech that will change your life for the better. New gadgets can be daunting at first, but with each of these three technologies, you can ease into it. The idea is to find ways to make simplify your life, not overwhelm you. And we promise, once you get over the initial hump with these three, it will very hard to remember your life without them!