As a kid, one of my favorite stories was There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. It’s a sad poem, but I was fascinated by the house that could run itself. I love home technology! I want that! I want a house that will feed the cat & dog, vacuum for me, turn lights off, unlock the door for the teen who is always losing her key, and all sorts of modern wireless magic. I want to walk in the door and say, “Lights on!” and like magic, the house is all warmed up and ready for us to continue our evening.
We’ve already installed a Nest thermostat, Samsung Shape M5 multi-room speakers & hub, and Amazon’s Alexa via a Fire TV in our family room. Between those items and our iPads & iPhones, the stage is set for adding in voice control for a wide variety of accessories.
Here are a few things on my wish list for the not-too-distant future:
Amazon Echo The base where all the magic happens. You can use any Alexa device or HomeKit for Apple, if you’re a Mac person. There are items which work better on one than the other, so we’ll be using both. If you don’t need the full Echo speaker, you could opt for the Amazon Dot instead. All the voice functionality, but about $100 less.
Garagio Smart Garage Controller
Make sure your garage doors are closed, or open them from anywhere! If you’ve ever come home to the horror of realizing you left your garage open all day, this will bring you all the peace in the world.
Philips 455303 Hue White Starter A19 Kit Gives you total control over your lighting from your smart phone or tablet – even when you’re away from home. So you know when you’re in bed and you remember you left the basement lights on? THIS!
Belkin WeMo Switch Turn off your electronics from anywhere in your home with the Belkin WeMo Switch. Working with your in-home Wi-Fi and a free app on your iOS or Android device.
Nest Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Detector Know from anywhere. Connect Nest Protect to Wi-Fi and it will send an alert to your phone if the alarm goes off or the batteries run low. Tells you what and where. It speaks up to tell you if there’s smoke or CO and where the problem is, so you know what to do.