Your Christmas 2016 smart home tech guide
Every holiday season, we all face the epic challenge of finding something for that person who seems to have everything. You don’t want to get them something they won’t use, but it’s also hard to pick something they really want. Worst of all, Christmas is fast approaching, as always.
If your gift recipient likes technology (and for some of these, even if they’re technology illiterate), there are a ton of great smart home options out there. These days, tech can do a wider variety of things than ever for your home. So before you start panicking, take a look at these 5 great ideas for smart home tech gifts from those impossible-to-buy-for folks on your list.
Amazon Echo (with Alexa)
At the core of any smart home (or even without a single other smart home device) is the controller. Google Home may be a strong first showing, but Google still can’t quite beat the functionality of Amazon’s Echo. In short, the Echo is a small speaker which you can give voice commands to in order to play music, get the weather, add things to your shopping list, or control other smart home devices. Now, with software updates, this functionality is always increasing.
That makes Alexa a good choice for a less tech savvy person on your list. It can be operated with simple voice commands and understands spoken English pretty well. So if you have a parent or grandparent who has mobility difficulties, you may not think of them and think “smart home” but an Alexa can help them send messages, turn on lights, check the news and weather, all without having to move around too much. Oh, and it plays music.
August Smart Lock
Want to get something awesome for your best friend or a family member? How about something that will combine better home security with a tool to let you come by for a visit or to do a bit of pet sitting without having to get spare keys made? The August Smart Lock attaches to an existing deadbolt and can automatically lock and unlock when you’re within a certain proximity.
You could even pair the lock with a few homemade coupons for those kinds of activities for a great personal touch. So your loved one can open doors, along with redeeming some lovely redeemable coupons for dog walking, cat sitting, plant watering or random friendly visits.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Do you know somebody who just loves efficiency? Their idea of a good time is figuring out how to save money on their taxes or make their car go just a bit farther on a gallon of gas. Consider getting them a Nest Learning Thermostat.
These smart home thermostats are designed not just to ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible by learning your preferred temperature at different times. They’re also designed to maximize efficiency by doing things like automatically turning off your heating or air conditioning when you’re away and generally learning your habits. That friend will delight in watching their home become more efficient – not to mention the lower energy bills.
Do you know someone who’s experienced a home water leak? If so, you’re probably familiar with the huge amount of damage they can cause. With an smart leak detection system, those leaks are detected and stopped at the source within seconds. You don’t have to take any action at all.
This is also great for people with vacation homes in colder climates as it also allows you to automatically shut the main water valve off remotely. So no more driving back after you forget to shut off the water for the winter or coming to your home to find a burst pipe.
Belkin Wemo Smart Slow Cooker
If you know a parent who struggles to put home-cooked meals on the table as often as they know they should (there are some serious benefits involved), then a smart home slow cooker could be a perfect gift. When I was a kid, my mom would ask me to remember to turn the crock pot to keep warm when I got home from school. But with the addition of smart home tech, busy parents can do this remotely. Best of all, those meals will be piping hot and as delicious as ever.
Share Your Ideas
What are you looking to get people on your list this Christmas/holiday season? If you’ve got a favorite smart home product that would make a great gift, let us know in the comments.
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