Lifestyle - 19 May, 2020

The 20 must-have smart products for your home

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Smart home products have been on the market for some time now with more and more homeowners looking to use smart technology to make their lives a little easier. Many households now feature a smart TV and automated lighting and security are also becoming more popular, the world of smart home products has a whole lot more to offer.


Google Nest Hub Max

To get you started on your home automation journey you’re going to want to start with a virtual assistant to allow you to manage all your compatible connected home devices with the power of your voice. There are a range of smart speakers and smart displays to choose from with this functionality, but our pick is the Google Nest Hub Max. Powered by Google Assistant this 10-inch smart display controls connected home devices including smart plugs, lights, TVs, speakers, air-con, blinds and various home appliances without the need to use multiple apps on your phone. The system also includes video and voice calling capability and built-in security camera Nest Cam.

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Google Wi-Fi Mesh Network Routers

You’ll want to make sure your home wi-fi network is up to speed to control your new home automation gadgets. Part of the Nest family, the routers allow you to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to internet dead areas in your home, and each router also acts as another smart speaker in your home once connected to your system allowing you to play music and control connected devices through voice control. Using the compatible app you can quickly see what devices are attached to your network and prioritise devices, as well as using family control to pause wi-fi on kids devices.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The temperature of our home can be something we don’t pay a lot of attention to until it’s wrong. The Nest Learning Thermostat, compatible with the Google Nest Hub Max, adjusts to your lifestyle and learns your preferences as you adjust the temperature to eventually automatically program the temperature in your home to keep you comfortable. It also utilises an Auto-Away function to adjust the temperature when you’re not home and turn off your hot water if you’re away. It can be controlled remotely using an app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

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Philips Hue

The Philips Hue range of smart light bulbs, lamps, fixtures and accessories can help you automate the lighting throughout your home. To get started you’ll need to decide how many bulbs you’ll want and the range of your smart lighting system. Purchasing a Philip Bridge, a smart light hub, allows you to control up to 50 bulbs and spans your entire home. If a smaller system works for your home you can connect up to 10 bulbs in a limited range without a Bridge, simply using the Hue Bluetooth app. A range of starter kits are available that come complete with a Bridge, bulbs and switches.

August Smart Lock Pro

The August Smart Lock Pro is the ultimate solution for people who are known for losing or forgetting keys. Using an app from your smartphone the lock allows you to remotely lock or unlock the door, allow access to guests and see who’s coming and going in the house. One of the biggest selling features of this product over other smart locks, however, is the ease of installation. The August Smart Lock Pro simply attaches on the inside of your door over your existing deadbolt, meaning your outside lock appears unchanged and you can use your existing keys.

WeMo Insight Smart Plug

Integrate home automation into your ordinary home appliances using smart plugs like the Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug. Pairing with your digital assistant system for voice control or through your smart phone, the smart plugs allow you to turn appliances on and off from anywhere. Using the app you can also set automatic schedules for devices attached to a plug, letting you set your heater to turn on before you get home. You can also use the Away Mode to randomise light use throughout your house and give the appearance of a presence in your home while you’re away.

Nespresso Expert Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi

Ever dreamt of brewing a great cup of coffee without even having to leave your bed in the morning? Thanks to Bluetooth technology the Nespresso Expert Original Espresso Machine allows you to just that through a mobile-based app. The coffee machine offers four sizes of coffee, Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo and Nespresso Americano, and three drink temperatures and offers a sleek, flat-to-the-wall shape with minimalist rotating dials. Not only will the app let you create personalised, barista-style single-serve coffees and let you schedule brewing times, it also makes capsule reordering easy. The 19 bar high-pressure pump and automatic capsule ejection perfectly extracts the delicate flavour and premium aromas of the coffee capsules, allowing for a great, café-style cup.

Revolution Cooking 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster

If a touch screen toaster is what’s missing from your life, the Revolution Cooking 2-Slice High Speed Smart Toaster is here to revolutionise your kitchen. The touch screen allows you to customise the exact shade and level of crispiness you’d prefer and doubles as a digital or analogue clock when not in use. The toaster has settings for bread, bagels, waffles, English muffins and toaster pastries, and smart sensors adjust the heating process based on the given bread type and current toaster temperature.

ASAKUKI Smart Wi-Fi Essential Oil Diffuser

Use technology to bring some atmosphere to your home with the ASAKUKI Smart Wi-Fi Essential Oil Diffuser. Using the app from your smartphone or virtual assistant you can turn the diffuser on and off and set up to eight scheduled or countdown timers. The device includes an air purifier which can also be controlled via the app and gives you up to 16 hours of mist. The device lights up, offering seven mood lighting options, but the app will also allow you to turn off or dim the light depending on your preference.

Mirror Interactive Home Gym

Described as the future of fitness the Mirror Interactive Home Gym appears as a normal full-length mirror in your home, with the option to either mount the mirror on a wall or use the compatible stand to rest it against a wall in an appropriate space. One turned on the Mirror acts as an in-home personal trainer, giving you expert instruction and live feedback from certified trainers. Using a monthly subscription service you’ll have access to tens of thousands of workout classes to use at your own convenience, and the system helps your track your progress and health stats.

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