The Top 7 Smart Home Devices of 2017
Best picks to start building out your smart home system. These smart devices made life easier for their owners in 2017, making their homes a little smarter.
The Internet of Things (IoT) won more converts this year, perhaps because of the growing popularity of Amazon’s Echo. More devices came on the market, along with new models of favorite products.
In fact, IHS Markit predicts that almost 7% of US homes will have, on average, six smart home devices by the end of 2017.
We’ve collected a list of the top 7 devices if you’re looking for somewhere to start.
The devices you choose depend, in part, on the ecosystem you already use. Android devices work well with Google Home and its associated devices. Apple users will do well with products that integrate with Siri and HomeKit. Check the compatibility before you buy.
Which smart home devices scored well in 2017?
1. Nest Learning Thermostat
Like other smart thermostats, the Nest Learning Thermostat lets you control the temperature in your home using a phone or tablet. If you’re coming home from vacation, you can turn the heating on from the airport so that you won’t come home to a cold house.
Best of all, the Learning Thermostat monitors your usage patterns and learns how you like to use your heating. It uses motion sensors to check where you are in your home. Over time, you input less information to get better results.
2. Amazon Echo
You can install “skills” to teach her new functions. Ask questions, listen to audiobooks, or even order a Lyft. It’s a great way to access information without having to pull out your smartphone.
Add Alexa’s functionality to your SURE Universal Remote app to control your smart devices using just your voice.
Amazon offers a range of Echo devices. The Echo Dot is perfect for those who have existing speakers but want access to Alexa. Or the Echo Plus offers a home automation hub. Choose the Echo Show or Spot if you want screens, offering cameras for video calls.
3. Philips Hue Smart Lightbulbs
Smart light bulbs vary in price and capability, but the Philips Hue bulbs are a great place to start.
Buy the white bulbs, and you can turn them on and off, or dim them, right from your smartphone. If you go one step further and buy the color-changing bulbs, you can program them to sync with music, change color at specific commands, or even turn on to mimic sunrise.
The other advantage of the Philips Hue system is their connectivity with other systems. The sheer popularity of them means you won’t typically have to worry about incompatibility.
4. Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug
Have you ever gotten to work, only to panic you may have left an electrical appliance plugged in? Instead of heading back to check, you can worry no more with the WeMo mini smart plug.
It’s a smart socket so you can turn off the power with a tap on your smartphone screen. You won’t need to sneak into your child’s room to turn off a humidifier or a nightlight. Turn them off from your phone and avoid disturbing them.
5. Netgear Arlo Pro
The IoT means more homeowners can take advantage of wireless security systems. The Netgear Arlo Pro uses rechargeable batteries and includes two-way audio. Set recordings to start when triggered by sound or movement. Or play a siren from the base station.
Store surveillance videos on a USB drive. Or save them in the cloud.
Yes, it is pricey, but it offers better video quality and smart integrations than many other models lack.
6. SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
This SkyBell HD Doorbell offers HD video recording and live streaming. It integrates with Alexa and Nest devices.
It takes photos and sends push alerts to your phone if it senses motion. Use the “push-to-talk” feature if you need to ask a delivery man to leave your packages in a specific location when you’re not home.
7. Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum
The Roomba 960 model is about $200 cheaper than Roomba’s high-end 980 model. It still uses a camera to navigate, and it also pushes cleaning reports to your smartphone. Control your Roomba using the SURE Universal Remote, Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant.
The 960 can negotiate different floor coverings and won’t knock items over. Set it to make two passes, and it will pick up dirt it missed on the first pass.
These smart devices made life easier for their owners in 2017. And remember, if you invest in any of them, make sure you download the SURE Universal Remote app to control them from a single interface.
Over to you – what were your favorite smart home devices this year?