by: diann nichols
2016 has left us in its wake, and with 2017 comes new dreams, new goals and new gadgets (especially for the home). With Walsh’s 10 gigabit per second technology, smart homes will be the norm, not the exception. It’s exciting to think about what we can do with Internet that fast. With that being said, here are our favorite gadgets for your new home.
Amazon Echo and Dot
The Amazon Echo voice-controlled speaker uses Alexa to answer your questions, give you news, weather and traffic reports, play music or read audio books, simply from your voice command. But it doesn’t stop there. With Echo, you can control lights, fans, sprinklers, thermostats and almost any new Whirlpool appliance. And with additional Dots, you can extend the reach of Echo’s voice-activated system to your entire home.
August Smart Lock
Never get locked out of your house again with August Smart Lock. This lock uses an app on your phone to automatically lock and unlock your door. If you have guests coming to visit, just program the lock to allow unique virtual access for each person without having to make spare keys. An activity log tracks who comes and goes 24/7, so you always know who’s home.
Jagger & Lewis Smart Dog Collar
This French company, with an office in San Francisco, has in the works a Fitbit-type collar device for dogs. The device attaches to your dog’s collar and monitors activity such as eating, drinking, running, scratching, pacing and sleeping. The free app allows you to monitor your dog’s activity even when you are not at home. By knowing what your dog does while you’re away, you can detect any abnormal behavior quickly. If your dog paces constantly while you’re away, he or she may suffer from separation anxiety. A decrease in food or water intake may be a symptom of illness. Excessive scratching can be caused by conditions such as dermatitis or fleas. Just as you monitor your own health, the Smart Collar device for dogs can help you to keep your canine family member healthy and happy.
Leka Smart Toy
Leka is an amazing toy geared toward children and adults who have developmental disorders such as autism. This unique round robot acts as an intermediary that uses repetitive action to help the user learn social cues and educational skills when traditional environments may be overwhelming. Leka’s stimulation level is highly customizable to help children, regardless of their age or level of interaction. With colorful LED lights, chirps, music and subtle vibrations, children can interact with Leka through games, photos and videos.
Mohu Airwave Antenna
As cord-cutting becomes more viable for many, the Mohu Airwave antenna solves the common problem of local broadcast access. The Airwave wireless antenna brings local stations to existing platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Android and iOS. By using an app, Mohu Airwave allows you to view live TV.
The ever-evolving Nest family of products takes care of your security and energy needs. Starting with the Nest Learning Thermostat, this clever device replaces your old thermostat in more ways than one. First, it studies your temperature habits for about a week and then programs itself per your habits. It checks your energy history in its app to see how much energy you are using and turns itself down when no one is home to save energy. When you are home, it detects you when you walk into the room and lights up to show you the time, temperature or weather. And, of course, you can connect it to your Wi-Fi so you can control it remotely from your mobile device. The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector tells you if and where smoke or carbon monoxide is when you are home. It also sends you a text message, so you can monitor these levels when you are away. The Nest Cam indoor security camera plugs in to provide live video feed 24/7. It sends alerts to your phone when it detects activity and allows you to listen in and talk back with 2-way audio. Nest Cam’s outdoor security camera delivers the same great features as the indoor camera.
Now you can move your wireless devices seamlessly throughout your home with Netgear’s Orbi Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi system. Drawing on the technology used in large office buildings, the Orbi router sets up wireless Access Points and then groups them together into a single network. This creates a mesh of coverage that eliminates dead spots, slow speeds and buffering you sometimes get with a two-band system. And you can set it up in minutes without having to hire a professional. The Orbi covers up to 2,000 square feet. If you need additional coverage, each Orbi satellite covers an additional 2,000 square feet.
Owlet Baby Health and Wellness Monitor
Now parents can monitor their baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels with Owlet’s Smart Sock. It’s Connected Care platform is designed to give parents health and wellness information about their baby using an app on their smartphones. Just put the sock on the baby’s foot and rest more comfortably knowing your phone will alert you immediately if there is a problem.
Philips Hue Light Bulbs
With Philips Hue light bulbs, you can control any light bulb inside or outside your house via your mobile device and also dim a light or change the light’s color. Just screw the bulb into the light socket, connect up to 50 bulbs to the Philips Bridge via Wi-Fi, download the app and change the ambiance of your home’s entire lighting with a few taps on your phone.
SkyBell HD Doorbell
With the advent of Wi-Fi video doorbells, you can keep tabs on your home no matter where you are. SkyBell HD Video Doorbell has upped the ante by adding features such as muting the indoor and outdoor chimes and customizing the quality of the video up to 1080p. It also includes features such as color night vision, free video recording, photo snaps, motion sensor, two-way audio and live monitoring. Video doorbells are wonderful security devices and work great for families with children as well as elderly people who may have mobility issues.
Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
Sleep Number is taking smart beds to a new level with its 360 Smart Bed. The 360 senses your every movement throughout the night and automatically adjusts to give you an optimal night’s rest. For those of us with cold feet, you can opt to have the bed pre-heat before you climb in. The bed also helps alleviate snoring by picking up vibrations in its air chambers and gently raising that side of the bed. A built-in sensor collects data throughout the night and send it to an app to show you how well you slept.
Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected
Think you know how to brush your teeth properly? You might want to think again. Learn the best techniques with the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush. This amazing Bluetooth-connected toothbrush has built-in sensors to alert you when you are scrubbing too hard or applying too much pressure. The location sensor shows your where you are consistently missing spots. The app features a 3-D mouth map to give you a post-brushing analysis of your technique. It shows you any areas you missed so you can do a touch-up. It also provides data such as plaque build-up, receding gums and other issues. It’s 30-day report tracks your brushing progress.
Tablo OTA DVR
If you’ve cut the cord on your cable service, you’ll definitely want to invest in a Tablo OTA (Over-the-Air) DVR to watch and/or record your favorite broadcast programs. Since the Tablo connects to your network instead of your TV, you can stream OTA broadcast programs on any device that is connected to the network, any time you want and any place you want. Just plug the DVR into a digital TV antenna, attach a hard drive and you can watch most network TV shows for free. And since the Tablo connects to your network, you only need one box for the entire house.
Willow Wearable Breast Pump
No longer will new mothers need to carry around a clunky breast pump and bottles, or find a convenient place to use it. Willow Wearable Breast Pump fits inside your bra, runs on rechargeable batteries and has a collection bag that fits neatly inside the pump, eliminating the need for bottles and tubes. This portable, hands-free pump connects to an app via Bluetooth and tracks milk volume and time of extraction. This revolutionary invention will become a new mother’s best friend.
Zera Food Recycler
If you like the idea of composting, but don’t have the time or space for a big compost bin, the Zera Food Recycler is just the thing for you. It’s streamlined modern design fits neatly in your kitchen and turns a week’s worth of food scraps into a rich fertilizer that’s ready to use. Just turn it on, dump your scraps into the bin and insert a plant-based additive to help break down the food. After a week, remove the container at the bottom of the unit and use your fertilizer in your garden or plants. The mobile app allows you to run it remotely.
These are only a few of the remarkable gadgets you can buy to make your new home at Walsh a dream. With 2 gigabit per second internet standard at every home, and the ability to upgrade to up to 10 gigabit per second, your new home can handle all the gadgets you desire with the speed you expect.