While customization in the home is not a novel idea, bringing smart home technology into the equation can be complicated. Whether it’s a thermostat or smoke alarm – too many companies have limited their offerings to one-size-fits-all technology. But is that really what you’re looking for? We commissioned some technology enthusiasts to give us their take on favorite smart home gadgets that help streamline your daily activities, and all with a personal touch. Here are the results
1. While many smart home brands rely on an algorithm to set a schedule, PowerView™ Motorization from Hunter Douglas puts the scheduling decisions in the hands of users. The PowerView App scheduling feature gives you the ability to set Scenes – different combinations of shades and shade positions – to operate automatically on specific days and times based on your unique personal preferences. You can even schedule multiple room Scenes to activate simultaneously. Want to be up with the sunrise on Saturdays? No problem – you can also link your shades to the exact sunrise and sunset times, precisely calculated by PowerView based on its knowledge of your specific location.
Even after setting and scheduling your ideal scenes with the PowerView App, you can choose to override the schedule at any time by manually activating the scenes with the artfully designed Pebble™ Control. Offered in seven on-trend colors, with a wall-mounted control also available, simply tap a button to set the shades in motion on command. Shades can even be operated while you’re away from home with the RemoteConnect™ feature.
2. Netatmo has taken home security cameras to a new level with Welcome. Welcome uses facial recognition technology to send the names of programmed users, up to 16 people, it sees directly to your smartphone. Better yet, Welcome alerts you when a stranger passes in front of the camera. You can be notified when children or elderly parents are home, and more importantly, when the camera sees an intruder.
Welcome allows users to customize each person’s privacy settings through the free app, including disabling video recordings or notifications for individual people so each family can find their perfect fit. An added bonus, Welcome is beautiful and sleekly designed, measuring only six inches in height.
3. Hesitant to give the dog walker or housekeeper a key to your home? August Smart Lock removes that worry with encrypted locking technology and an app that puts total control in the hands of users by eliminating a physical key. Through the app, you decide who gets a key and when: issue family members a 24/7 virtual key, the dog walker one for a specified time period or remotely unlock the door for the out-of-town guest that arrived unexpectedly.
With Auto-Unlock, August senses your approach and unlocks your door for you, without you having to reach for your phone and August’s EverLock™ technology will automatically lock the door behind you – so no more digging for keys or wondering if you locked the door when you left. August is easy to install too; it simply replaces the interior portion of your existing deadbolt but does not require you to change your exterior door hardware. In only 10 minutes, the system can be installed and operational.
4. Instead of letting water – and money – go down the drain while you wait for hot water, upgrade to the Heatworks MODEL 1 for instant hot water and total control of water usage. The first water heater with Wi-Fi control, MODEL 1 allows each member of the family to personalize their settings to avoid scalding and provide maximum comfort. Out of town? Easily set your MODEL 1 to vacation or sleep mode from your smartphone for maximum energy efficiency. In addition to monthly savings, MODEL 1 has no maintenance costs and greater durability than traditional and other tankless water heaters.
With these and the many other advanced technologies being introduced at a rapid-fire pace, there’s never been a better time to join the smart home revolution.