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Holy home automation Batman! Have you always dreamed of living in the Batcave? You know, where you are surrounded by all the latest and greatest remotely operated, custom gadgets? Well, it’s possible today thanks to the ever-evolving capabilities of home automation and smart home technology. But if you want to deck out your entire house, prepare yourself for sticker shock!
We cover our favorite smart home technology in this review, but if those options add too much ZING! to your budget, you can still put a cool smart home (aka Batcave) in play, one bat-worthy gadget at a time.
What Are The Coolest Smart Home Products?
Below are some of the coolest home automation products available today. Included are door locks, video cameras, thermostats, and more – all of which are Bat-worthy.
View on Amazon – August Smart Lock
At $200, this device connects to your smartphone to unlock your door for you. The August Smart Lock can be locked and unlocked no matter where you are located. For example, you can allow a housekeeper into your home by unlocking the door from work with your smartphone. No key necessary.
How it works: you send an invite through the app and select a period of time that certain people are invited to enter and leave your home. So for your housekeeper, if it takes 2 hours to clean your home, send an invitation for 2 hours. Once the 2 hour time period has passed the invitation expires and your housekeeper can no longer enter your home until the next time you send an invitation.
View on Amazon – Ring
Ring is a doorbell connected to your smartphone. Anytime someone rings your doorbell, your smart phone or tablet sends you a notification. You can then answer the door whether you’re home or away. For example, if the delivery man has a package for you, you can ask him to leave it on the front step. This is all done through Ring’s app. This $199 device has a built-in camera as well so you can see who it is at your door.
View on Amazon – Nest Cam
Nest Cam is $199 and you must pay an additional fee for cloud storage. You can view the video remotely and it has two way talk, it’s a really cool gadget. It has night vision and an 8x zoom. The cloud storage options are $100/year for 10 days of video history or $300/year for 30 days of video history. It has a 130 degree view and is motion sensor activated.
View on Amazon – Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest is a gadget you’ll want to play with constantly, but probably shouldn’t. Why? Because it may not get you the savings this device promises. This smart thermostat costs $249 and never stops learning about your preferred temperature, your schedule, and you. Nest’s smartphone app allows you to change your thermostat settings while you’re away. This is a sexy, sleek-looking gadget for your home that can also save you cash on your electric bill as it becomes more energy-efficient over time.
View on Amazon – Piper
Piper is a $279 video camera with environmental sensors that gives you a panoramic view of a room in your home. You can watch live footage via your smartphone, and it has motion and audio detectors to alert you when something is triggered. You can purchase additional Z-Wave technology to serve your other home automation needs as well. Up to 5 Piper systems can be installed in one home so you can view footage from multiple rooms. In the case of an intrusion, you and anyone else you have set up with access to the app, will receive a notification. It is then up to you to decide if authorities need to be contacted or if it was just your cat knocking a plant over. We have received feedback that the video quality is not very good, keep that in mind when making a purchasing decision.
Should I Buy A “Whole Home” System Or Item by Item?
It really depends on how cool vs. secure you want your Batcave to be. If you are interested in professionally monitored home security in addition to home automation, an all-in-one smart home security system that includes 24/7 monitoring and remote access might fit your needs better. You will already have a monthly bill for alarm monitoring, so for a little bit more a month you can unlock your doors, change the temperature and view video remotely. But, if you don’t think you need every available home automation feature, and don’t want to pay a monthly fee, picking and choosing from these gadgets is a great way to get started with your batcave.
Do you have experience with smart home products? What are your favorites?