American Express® used to use the slogan “Never leave home without it.” Today that tagline more aptly applies to your smart phone than a credit card. And with that smart phone, you don’t really have to leave home behind.
The world of home automation devices is booming and many of the most popular devices let you maintain your home from the palm of your hand. Whether you’re at work, on vacation or just running errands, you can easily turn on the lights, adjust your thermostat or even start dinner from your phone. Here’s a look three of the most popular options to add some tech to your home.
The Nest® smart thermostat takes programmable thermostats to the next level by programming itself. The system’s built-in sensors learn your preferences and your schedule to build your customized settings. For example, like to sleep at a cooler temperature, Nest will begin to learn when you go to bed each night and cool the house down. This smart device then adjusts your home’s temperature to maximize energy savings. Other Nest products include security cameras and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
WeMo Insight Switch
The WeMo Insight Switch has many applications throughout your home. This smart outlet connects to wifi and can be controlled from anywhere. It monitors energy usage and can send you alerts. Use it with any small appliance, space heaters and more. You no longer have to worry if you turned off the iron before you left for work, just use your phone to turn off the switch. You can also program the switches to turn off and on. This is a great way to control the lights throughout your home. The Insight Switch is just one of several products in the WeMo product line from Belkin.
The Amazon Echo and its Alexa Voice Service can be your virtual personal assistant. While it may appear to be a glorified speaker for playing your favorite tunes, this hands-free voice-activated device can also provide information such as the weather, sports scores or your calendar; control other home devices including WeMo switches and Nest thermostats; and even keep your shopping and to do lists organized. Simply talk to the device with commands like:
- “Alexa, add cereal to the grocery list.”
- “Alexa, what’s my commute like?”
- “Alexa, set a timer for 20 minutes.”
Following the success of the Echo, Amazon has now launched two companion products the Amazon Dot and Amazon Tap that also utilize the Alexa system.
Start exploring home tech today and you can always have your home in the palm of your hand.
We hope this helps- and be sure to check out our other Handy Homeowner tips and info.