As the industry wars in 2018 for which silken-voiced artificial intelligence will become your dedicated IoT hub heat up, the gadgets they control get better and better. Here are some of the best smart devices for cooking, cleaning the house, and staying comfortable and safe.
The kitchen has been the traditional front line for new smart devices and the source of much daydreaming on how to streamline. However, some new tech is being released that’s making things much easier.
The June Oven is a gorgeous piece of technology that is as functional as it is beautiful. It tracks internal food temperature, IDs food type and recommends settings, and heats food three times faster than traditional ovens, according to the manufacturer. And, of course, you can control the oven remotely. It is available in a standard size that can fit a chicken or typical casserole dish or a traditionally-sized oven for the Pro model.
For the outdoor chef, the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker is a great addition to the smart device arsenal. It’s relatively inexpensive and will allow you to monitor your meat over any distance. This is perfect for creating that extremely slow-smoked barbecue or just adding that smoky flavor with whatever type of wood chips pair best with your protein. Early reviews are mixed, but expect this to improve with subsequent models.
Finally, the king of modern cooking techniques is sous vide and the crown jewel is the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker. By reducing moisture loss and ensuring a consistent temperature throughout your food, the Anova device cooks meat and eggs perfectly every time. This is simply a safer and more delicious way to enjoy meats and will be the standard going forward. They run $119 for the Bluetooth version and $169 for the Bluetooth + Wi-Fi model, which the home chef can control remotely and works for larger groups.
The robot vacuums are the vanguards of the smart devices revolution. Though they haven’t undergone any seismic changes in design or functionality, they have gotten much better at their jobs.
The tie for best high-end vacuum with the most functionality goes to the Dyson 360 Eye and the iRobot Roomba 690. iRobot was one of the first manufacturers of smart vacuum technology, and continues to improve their product. They now offer smartphone control, voice activation, and smart home-mapping tech. The Dyson 360 Eye has superior mobility and suction ability at a notably higher cost.
For a vacuum that’s lighter on the budget, the Eufy RoboVac 11 delivers adequate cleaning power for a lower cost than the iRobot or Dyson offerings. Just expect a few more hiccups in navigation.
Finally, if you’re looking for a full-floor solution and need mechanized help for mopping as well, the iRobot Braava Jet 240 is a small and nimble smart device that wet-cleans floors without you having to hallucinate a relationship with your mop to justify a deep scrub.
Safety and Comfort
Feeling safe in one’s home is one of the primary reasons humans quit the nomad lifestyle and started staying stationary. With the newest crop of safety and comfort smart devices, danger from the elements and human threats can be greatly reduced.
Nest has been the gold standard for smart thermostats for a while now, and their 3rd generation of models does not disappoint. They light up when someone enters the room and learn your habits to automatically control the climate in your home. Nest has recently released the “E” model, which is a less expensive version at $169, with most of the same features and an unobtrusive frosted design.
The Ecobee 4 Smart WiFi Thermostat is giving Nest a run for its money, however, and has moved the benchmark. It comes with a room sensor (and expands to multiple) to manage temperature differentiation between rooms. It also has inbuilt Amazon Alexa capability. The Alexa capability is worth $50 alone, considering the cost of the Echo Dot. Not to mention the cool-factor of telling your wall to start your car like George Jetson.
Nest also produces a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm whose main features include self-tests, a wider and smarter bandwidth for detecting fires, and alarms that mirror to your smartphone. It also turns on a subtle night light as you walk under it.
A less expensive option for a smart smoke alarm is the Roost Smart Battery, which modifies your existing alarm into one that notifies your phone when the battery is low instead of delivering that annoying chirp.
Feel free to let us know down below if you’ve tried any of these out, or shoot us an email to find out if your smart tech can reduce the cost of your home insurance.