Now that you're retired or planning for retirement, purchasing a smaller, low-maintenance home is the perfect opportunity to upgrade your technology too. Advances in home automation are making this easier than it’s ever been. Now, with smart phones, you can do virtually everything you need to from anywhere, whether it’s down the block or across the globe. Here are some high-tech home gadgets to make your home smarter and your life easier.
Smart TVs allow your television to connect to your home’s internet connection, allowing access to hundreds of apps and nearly endless opportunities for entertainment. Popular options include Apple TV and Roku. A simple HDMI cable to your TV and WiFi connection can instantly stream Netflix, HBO, and a host of your other favorite channels and movies; making your TV into the ultimate entertainment machine.
Always forgetting to turn off the air conditioning, leading to unnecessarily high energy bills? Products like Ecobee and Nest are here to save your wallet and bring you peace of mind. Smart thermostats can automatically adjust to make rooms more comfortable, conserve energy while you’re away, and use sensors to make your bedroom more comfortable while you’re asleep. Not only does it make your home more comfortable, but can save you lots of money on energy bills by giving you more control no matter where you are!
Being away from home has never been safer with video monitors that give you live feeds directly to your phone, tablet, or computer. The Nest Cam links up with your mobile device, allowing you to keep tabs on your home whenever you’re away.
Not only can you check in to make sure that you shut the fridge, but it will send you a notification if it detects motion while you’re away. Have an old iPhone sitting around? Now you can use it as a monitor rather than a dust collector in your drawer, thanks to the Presence app.
Smart Garage Door Remote
Leaving your garage door open is more than a cause of anxiety while you’re in the middle of the grocery store, it can be a serious security hazard. With MyQ Garage, you can check to see whether you shut the door. Left it open? A simple tap will close it. MyQ Garage will also send you a notification if your garage door opens while you’re away from home.
Smart Home Lock
Tired of digging through your purse for your keys with an armful of groceries? Kwikset Kevo makes that situation a thing of the past. Although it appears like a typical lock, the Kwikset Kevo connects with your phone via Bluetooth and, after approved users touch the lock, it’ll automatically open using fingerprint recognition. Have guests? The product also comes with key fobs that will allow the door to open when they are within range. It also allows you to see when your front door was locked or unlocked and by whom, so you can track every time someone enters or leaves the home.
Smart Slow Cooker
Want to make something delicious while you’re gone all day, but aren’t comfortable with leaving it unattended? The Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with Wemo will put your fears to rest. This WiFi-enabled crockpot can be adjusted through the WeMo app, allowing you to adjust the temperature from anywhere. So, if you happen to be running late, you can lower the temperature so your meal won’t overcook. Even if you forget, the crockpot will automatically know that it’s been longer than the allotted cooking time and will lower the temperature accordingly.
Home Automation Systems
If all these sound like good additions to your home but you don’t want to clutter your phone with apps, then a home automation system would be the answer. A home automation system acts as a central space for all your smart devices, allowing you to control all of them from one interface.
Have a smart lighting system, coffee maker, and thermostat? A home automation system, like SmartThings, will have them all talk together. Just tell it that you’ve woken up, then watch as the lights slowly turn up, the coffee starts brewing, and the temperature adjusts to a more comfortable level.
When you’re away from home, you can lock your doors, turn off your lights, monitor your home with whatever cameras you have set up, or unlock your doors for your spouse who forgot their keys before leaving. A device like SmartThings is perfect for the tech-savvy active adult homeowner who has several smart devices but would like to easily manage them.
What kinds of high-end gadgets did you get for your home? What kind of technology would help you live a more carefree or low-maintenance lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below!