High-tech homes are no longer the stuff of fancy expos and Hannah-Barbera cartoons. There are plenty of products on the market today that use technology to make our lives easier, and transform smartphones and tablets into super-charged remote controls. Ready to create a high-tech home? Check out these six fancy gadgets, and get ready to shop.
1. Quirky+GE Aros smart window air conditioner
Aros is a sleekly designed 8,000 BTU air conditioner with a unique upward airflow that increases air circulation in ways that other, less modern appliances can’t. It’s one of the few smart window air conditioners out there, and you can control it with the Wink app on your smartphone. The app makes it easy to monitor, program, and control the Aros from anywhere.
The Aros learns from your schedule, weather, and budget to economically cool your space. By using the Smart Budget feature, you can “train” the Wink app to know how much you’d like to spend on air conditioning with your Aros each month, and it will track your usage to help keep you on budget.
2. Transparent TV
TVs provide a great way to relax, but can be tricky to incorporate into your interior design. The transparent TV designed by Michael Friebe is a see-through panel that “disappears” when it’s not turned on. The TV uses technology called TOLED, or transparent organic light-emitting diode, in order to create vivid, movie-screen-worthy images.
3. Smart mirror
Smart mirrors are regular, functional mirrors, but, when connected wirelessly to the Internet, you can brush your teeth while watching TV on the screen, or check Facebook while blow-drying your hair. Cybertecture’s version is controlled with either a remote or smartphone. A switch on the device allows the mirror to function as a normal mirror, removing any apps, sites, and news shows from the display. Tech giant Samsung is also reportedly making a smart mirror as well, and we suspect that these fancy looking glasses will become more common and readily available in the near future.
4. DoorBird: The smartphone doorbell
DoorBird is a smartphone-connected doorbell that comes with a video camera so you can see who’s outside your door. The DoorBird sends out a push notification when the doorbell is rung and takes a photo of the person who rang your doorbell. It then pulls up a live video feed so that you can talk to anyone at your door using a two-way talk function, and even opens the door to allow guests to enter your home.
5. Philips Hue wireless LED light bulbs
You’ll never have to physically turn a light on or off again with these wireless LED light bulbs. Download the Hue app to your smartphone and use it as a remote control to turn lights on and off from anywhere. You can also schedule the timing of your lighting, such as setting a light in your entryway or foyer to go on if you are returning home at night and your house is dark. You can change the power of the light, control its brightness, and turn it off using your tablet or phone. The bulb fits into existing sockets, and you can change the color of the light (white, red, or blue) to match your mood.
6. Nest learning thermostat
You may have heard about Nest, the learning thermostat that Google purchased in 2014. This neat little device learns your daily routine and adjusts the temperature to suit your needs. Nest will also use its sensors to detect when your home is empty, then adjust the temperature to an energy-efficient level. Nest programs itself, helping you to shave down your heating and cooling bills. When you connect Nest to WiFi, you can control your HVAC via tablet, smartphone, or laptop from anywhere.