You’ve heard the news and have been overwhelmed by the advertising blitz. Smart homes are all the rage, but why should it matter to you and how do you get started?
Why Do I Want a Smart Home?
Simply stated, products that are “smart” are designed to make your life easier and more automated. A smart product allows you to control virtually any device in your home from your phone or other gadget, even when you’re not physically at home. You can also set schedules, reminders, and more – for example, a “smart” refrigerator could tell you when you’re running low on yogurt and automatically add it to your digital shopping list.
Is There One Product or Service That Can Control Everything?
The closest you are going to get is home automation service. This is a more expensive option, but you can have a company outfit your entire home, essentially making it a one stop shopping experience. Lean more in our Best Smart Home Technology article.
What Is a Smart Home Hub?
A hub is a product that allows other smart devices to connect to each other. So while they won’t provide as many options as the whole home services mentioned above, starting with a smart home hub is the next best option, and may be the best option if you’re into DIY. Read our Best Smart Home Hub or Google Home vs Amazon Echo article to learn more.
What Smart Home Products Are Available?
- Doorbell Cameras
- Garage Openers (coming soon)
- Security Cameras
- Security Systems
- Surround Sound
- Vacuum Cleaners
Infographic: The Ultimate Smart Home
This handy infographic we created that can give you a better idea of all the places you can use smart home devices in and around your house.
To embed this on your website, just copy and paste this code:
Video: Smart Home Tour
Check out this CNET video which takes you behind the scenes of a smart home and shows you some of the best gadgets in action.
What Are Your Favorite Products?
We’ve reviewed quite a few smart home products and services, and continue to experience more each day so we can bring you the latest. Throughout all this, there’s been some stars and some real duds. Want the coolest smart home gadgets we’ve found to enhance your bat cave that won’t break the bank? Check out our 5 Coolest Smart Home Gadgets article for the scoop!
As you can see, the question isn’t really whether you should acquire smart home products or not, because it seems every device coming out now has “smart home” qualities (in other words, unless you keep your grandpa’s lawnmower in tip top shape, there may eventually be no “non-smart” option). Your best bet is to jump on the ride and learn as much as possible today, while products are being eased into the market (remember that time you tried to teach your parents or grandparents how to use their first smartphone?). If you are confused and have questions, we invite you to join the conversation in our Community. You’ll be able to interact with our authors and other experts there.