How to Make your Home Smarter!
Home Technology has seen some exciting developments in the last year or two as creatives and techies come together to create some pretty useful products for the average home owner. I’ve supported a few of these tools and have nothing but good things to say. The worst part is often waiting for the developers to start shipping!
Whether renovating your East Van home, building from the ground up or just looking for a way to make life easier, consider installing some of these tech solutions (I’ve seen a few Vancouver developers that include them in new homes):
1. NEST & NEST Protect:
Technically two different products, they are both by the same, forward thinking, modern company. NEST is a new thermostat that connects to your wifi network to learn your schedule so it can program itself to optimize the heating and cooling of your house. When you first get the NEST Thermostat, change the temperature throughout the day to suit your needs. Over time, I’m sure, you’ll realize that you no longer need to fiddle with the temperature. Worried about confusing the NEST with one-off adjustments? Don’t be, it’s smarter than that! The NEST interface is clean lined, and modern, fading to black when you’re not adjusting the temperature. A small green leaf appears when you’re saving energy. NEST claims to help you save up to 20% of your heating and cooling bill.
Use the NEST app to connect to your phone to adjust temperatures while on the go – useful if you’re set NEST to Auto-Away while you’re on vacation and are on your way home. Also useful is the ability to check your Energy History online or you can peruse the Monthly Report NEST sends you with usage and tips to help you save.
NEST Protect is the second product from the company – a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This alarm won’t stun you with noise or beeps when it detects smoke, instead, it will give you a calm warning in a Human Voice telling you that smoke levels are rising, giving you an early warning if there is a problem, or allowing you to silence it if there is too much smoke in the kitchen. Just wave your hand under NEST Protect to silence the alarm. Through the NEST App, you can program the tool to send you an email or text if the alarm is going off at home.
These are both good looking and useful tools for a modern home.
Lockitron is simple: Keyless lock and open for your front door. Lockitron consists of a special made tool to fit over the bolt on the inside of your front door. Once you download the Lockitron App and, you can easily share access with your family or friends, and you can know when your door is locked or unlocked, even when not at home. Thanks to the simple design, you can take Lockitron with you when you move, perfect for renters. You can set the Lockitron App to set you notifications if someone unlocks your door with a key or phone. Once of the best features? You can set Lockitron to sense when you’re nearing your door so it’ll automatically unlock as you walk towards the door. People with kids, groceries and more, rejoice!
Thing Charger is a simple way to charge your devices (cellphones, tablets, etc), without taking up room on your socket. Plug the little device into any electrical socket, choose the type of input your device needs (thingCHARGER comes with an input for every popular device on the market). This device was designed so you can plug multiple thingCHARGERS together to charge multiple devices at once, without the hassle of wires and sockets. This is the perfect little tool if you have many different devices, or routinely have visitors over complaining of low batteries!
Neurio is by far the most complete home technology on this list (which is by no means exhaustive). Simply, it will tell you what’s happening in your home and teach it some new tricks! This means that Neurio, a cloud based technology, will will WiFi power, cloud service and smart detection algorithms to monitor your home’s electricity to figure out what your appliances are up to – without installing sensors on each device. It will notify you if you forget to turn something off, it will reveal insights into your electricity usage and works well with other home technology devices that are specific to certain appliances (like NEST!). It can observe certain events, like when your laundry is done, so it can send you a text telling you!
One of my favourite little devices is this floor plan light switch! I haven’t been able to find out much more information than on Freshome, but I love the design! If anyone has more information, please let me know!