Smart House Technology: A Directory from Alexa to Z-Wave
Consumers have access to a wide array of smart home devices, including smart speakers, TVs and more. Discover the coolest smart home tech in this guide.
Until recently, the concept of a “smart house” seemed like something that could only exist in some far-off future. Well, with very little fanfare, that future is now. Tech companies both large and small have made smart home technology a reality with an abundance of smart tools and devices that allow families to streamline how they interact with their homes, their visitors, and even their pets.
Of course, with so much smart home technology on the market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Fortunately, SmartMove has you covered — you’re moving soon and hoping to set up a brand new smart home hub, or you finally found a high-speed Internet plan that can accommodate all your smart devices. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best smart home devices and how they can improve your daily routine.
A is for Alexa
Amazon’s Alexa is a smart home hub that is designed to streamline multiple technological functions that likely already take place in your home. For example, Alexa can connect to your smart TV and smart speakers for easy voice control. With Alexa you can also set your alarm on your smart security system, adjust your thermostat, or turn your smart bulbs on and off — all with a single voice command.
B is for (Smart) Bulb
Smart bulbs’ brightness and color can be adjusted in ways that traditional light bulbs cannot, making them a great way to personalize the look and feel of your home. Manage them from a mobile app or by voice command from your home hub or control center.
C is for Control Center
When you hear the phrase “smart home” it’s common for devices like Alexa, Nest Hub and Google Home to come to mind. These smart devices are actually control centers designed to oversee, connect and control other smart devices throughout your home. A control center is recommended if you own multiple pieces of smart tech that you’d like to keep track of and control from a centralized place.
D is for Domoticz
Interestested in home automation software to control all your smart house gadgets? Domoticz is one of a number of open source options, including OpenHAB, OpenMotics, HomeGenie and more.
Of course, you can always just use the home automation software provided by Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and other companies, too.
E is for Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats help users with energy use and costs. With the Ecobee Smart Thermostat you get the functionality of a typical thermostat and the energy use savings of a smart thermostat. Plus, the added bonus that it can be controlled from anywhere using a mobile device or smart hub-relayed voice command. Ecobee’s smart thermostat, and most smart thermostats, can be programmed to follow specific schedules. Most of Ecobee’s thermostats are also completely wireless for added convenience.
F is for Furbo Dog Camera
For smart home owners who love their furry friends, the Alexa-compatible Furbo Dog Camera is a must-have. In addition to providing a WiFi HD pet camera that lets you check in on your pup (or other beloved critter) whenever you’re away from home, this smart pet camera also has two-way audio. That means you can interact with your pet no matter where you are. An added bonus? It even tosses treats and sends alerts right to your phone.
G is for GE Smart Bulbs
GE is one of the top brands offering smart bulbs of all sizes, shapes and color spectrums. However, GE also offers a variety of smart lighting options, including smart light strips, which can enhance any space and décor with delicate lighting options that are easy to control using your mobile device or smart home hub.
H is for Health-Related Smart Devices
The growth of the health and fitness smart device market could form a guide of its own. From the Fitbit to personal EKG monitors, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors and more, health and fitness tech has become super smart.
Not only can most smart devices in the health and fitness space be controlled with a smartphone or mobile app, they also make it easy to track progress and can alert users to potential problems.
I is for Interactive Exercise Machines
Speaking of smart health and fitness devices, there are a plethora of interactive exercise machines on the market. Whether you’re into stationary cycling along with an instructor’s encouragement or some friendly competition on the treadmill, you can join workouts across the globe from the comfort of your home. The new interactive exercise machines transform your at-home workouts into a smart, team effort.
Additionally, these machines incorporate sensors to keep track of vital metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, calories and more.
J is for Josh.ai
The most popular and well-known voice-controlled home automation systems on the market—Siri, Alexa, Google Now, etc.—are not the only voice-controlled automation systems on the market. Josh.ai is a programming language that can control and connect with any smart device and utilizes natural voice commands. If you’re looking for an alternative to the most popular options, Josh may be right for your household.
K is for Kohler Intelligent Toilets
There are a surprising amount of smart toilets available to consumers who want to update their commode, but Kohler’s deserve a little extra attention.
The intelligent toilets Kohler offers can sense when someone approaches them to open automatically. They can also close and flush when the user leaves, as well as sanitize themselves. Some can also be programmed to heat the seat upon a user’s arrival.
L is for Lenovo Smart Display
Lenovo Smart Displays offer all of the functionality of a smart home hub with the additional convenience of a vivid and beautiful screen, making it easier than ever to control all of the smart devices throughout your house from a central location.
M is for the Manager App
Regardless of what brand of smart home hub or smart device you use, your device will always come with instructions to install a “manager app” on your smartphone. Manager apps are necessary to control smart device settings and functionality, as well as check the status of a particular device’s storage, memory and battery. Note that the name of the manager app may vary by brand and device.
N is for Nest Smart Doorbells
Nest smart doorbells are a great way to keep an eye on what’s happening right outside your front door. Smart doorbells also make it easy to interact directly with guests at the door, if you choose an option that includes live audio or video.
Great for security and for hospitality, Nest smart doorbells are a must for most smart homes.
O is for Onelink Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Made by First Alert, the Onelink smoke and carbon monoxide detector is designed to alert families in the event of fire or rising CO levels. Compatible with Alexa-driven hubs, this smart smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector combo provides emergency notifications that allow you to receive an alert on your phone or mobile device if anything is wrong. It also provides voice alerts that tell the type of danger and the location of it in your home.
P is for Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
The Philips Hue smart bulbs are similar to their GE competitors in that they provide smart options for lighting. But, their compatibility with Alexa, Google, Apple HomeKit and other home hubs make them an almost fool-proof choice. Even better? Philips Hue and Spotify have joined forces, so you can sync your lighting to your listening.
Q is for Arlo Q Security Camera
There are a lot of smart security cameras on the market, but the Arlo Q is special. With an easy to use mobile app and software, it’s quick to set up and get going. It records in 1080p high-definition and provides motion detection notifications. With a mid-range price tag of around $149, it’s also affordable for just about anyone investing in smart home security.
R is for the Ring Doorbell
The Ring doorbell allows homeowners to keep track of all of the comings and goings inside and outside their homes at all times. With a wide variety of doorbell options, including night vision, HD video and two-way talk, Ring’s series of doorbells has something for everyone.
S is for Smart Speakers
Whether or not you have a home theater, the addition of smart speakers to your home’s entertainment systems will change your viewing and listening experiences for the better. Smart speakers can be fully controlled from a mobile app or by voice command, which means losing the remote isn’t the emergency it used to be. Simply sit back and turn on your favorite song, podcast, show or audiobook from the comfort of your couch.
T is for Tablet Control
It’s not just smartphones that are compatible with your smart house technology, mobile tablets also allow for smart home control. Often, you can even use a tablet as a central hub depending on the smart devices and smart assistants you use. Whether an Android device or an iPad, controlling your smart home with a tablet makes your experience even more accessible.
U is for SmartHome University
Check out SmartHome University to get the inside scoop on all of the smart home products currently on the market so you can compare them based on your specific needs. Filled with reviews on everything from smart locks to smart security cameras, it can be a useful guide as you build or upgrade your smart home.
V is for Vacuum
Robot vacuums or smart vacuums are a simple and revolutionary way to keep a clean house no matter how busy you are. How does a smart vacuum work? Via a number of different sensors, it maneuvers the spaces inside a home to detect and measure its progress, while sucking up dust and other debris. The sensors help the robot vacuum sense “cliffs” and walls and more, so it’s able to do a thorough and efficient job.
W is for WYZE Cam
Another brand of security camera in the crowded smart cam field, WYZE offers some benefits that other smart security cameras do not. Namely, it’s much less expensive at $20 and up. It can also send alerts to your iPhone or Android device whenever it senses motion, sound, or smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms.
X is for X10 Home Automation
X10 was probably the first whole home automation technology. The difference between it and other types of whole home automation services and tech is that it uses a home’s existing electrical wiring to remotely control appliances, lights, pools, hot tubs, security cameras and systems, smoke detectors and more.
While not in use as much anymore, many smart home early adopters employ a hybrid system that incorporates elements of X10 home automation along with newer WiFi-enabled smart house technology.
Y is for Yale Smart Door
The smart door and smart lock market has a lot of options in it. One of the advantages of the Yale Smart Door technology is that it works seamlessly alongside many other smart home security devices—such as Ring, Wink, Google Home and Samsung SmartThings. With a Yale Smart Door, homeowners can easily lock and unlock your doors at the touch of a button, via a mobile app, or through a home hub voice command.
Yet another smart home hub on the market, Z-Wave allows you to control every smart device throughout your house with ease. Many of the most popular smart devices on the market are designed specifically to be compatible with Z-Wave. So, if you’re concerned about current and future smart device compatibility, Z-Wave is a good choice.
Find the Fast Internet You Need to Power Your Smart Home
Smart house technology options grow daily, but without a fast and reliable WiFi connection, a smart home can’t function.
SmartMove can help — whether you’re moving to a new location or looking for an Internet connection that can power any new or favorite devices in your home. Find the Internet service you need to power the smart home of your dreams.
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