Building a high-tech home: The 4 smart gadgets to invest in for 2019
From helpful virtual assistants to smart gadgets that can control practically every feature in your house, the high-tech home is a burgeoning trend that is only set to grow in 2019. This highly coveted set-up promises to make life easier all round, so you’ll rarely have to lift a finger when you need something done. Much like having a team of household staff at your every beck and call, a few well-chosen gadgets can take the stress out of your daily life – whether you’re rushing out to the office, or planning a leisurely day at home.
The smart home of your dreams isn’t hard to build, as long as you approach it in the right way. And, with the plethora of innovative new tech products making their way onto the market each day, when it comes to options, you’re spoilt for choice. Whilst it may seem tempting to purchase the lot, many gadgets are multifunctional and can handle various tasks in one. Select the most intelligent choices, and you’ll be well on your way to a calmer and more convenient way of living – zero effort required.
Unsure where to start? Then we’ve done the hard work for you. These are the top four smart home devices to invest in this year for a truly high-tech abode.
Hive Learning Thermostat
Have a brand-new smart thermostat installed, such as the Hive Learning Thermostat (third generation), and you’ll never have to get out of bed in the cold again. The Hive Active Heating system is a great upgrade for anyone that wants – or needs – the ability to be able to control their heating remotely. Now with multizone support and the ability to boost heating and hot water at any time, it’s the convenient gadget you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.
Both the app and the thermostat itself come with interfaces that are intuitive and simple to use. Twist the dial to turn the heating up or down and click the screen to adjust settings – or do it all from the iPhone or Android app. If you have Alexa or Google, you can control it through voice, too.
Better still, it can even help you to make a few savings on your bills – let’s face it, there are far better things to be spending your money on even when there is plenty of it. There’s little point in investing in a smart thermostat if your boiler isn’t up to scratch, however, so if necessary, have a more efficient one installed first. Insurance cover for your boiler is also a must, as a cold house and cold showers are not what you want to contend with when it’s freezing outside.
Amazon Echo Dot
The innovative Amazon Echo gadget has fast become a must-have accessory in homes across the UK and beyond, and the latest incarnation – the Echo Dot – makes itself even more indispensable. Activated by voice control, if you want something, you only have to ask – whether it’s playing your favourite music, making a call or sending and reading out your text messages from your mobile phone. It’s the personal assistant you’ve always dreamed of, but in a much simpler form.
The Echo Dot has an updated design with softer edges and fabric covers. Functionally, it has the same four-button control layout as the current model, though instead of a seven-microphone array, it makes do with just four. With improved sound quality, the Dot is also 70% louder than its predecessor – a feature that will be greatly welcomed by owners of the original model, signalling it’s the right time to upgrade.
Nest Hello Doorbell
Google’s new Nest Hello is a video doorbell that claims to be smarter than the other options on the market and offers constant recording, face and object recognition. A direct replacement for the standard wired doorbell, it works with an existing chime.
One of the high-end options for smart doorbells, it’s a clever investment you won’t regret – and will add an extra layer to your security, too, for added peace of mind. When someone approaches the door, the light ring flashes around the doorbell to invite visitors to push it. But when they do, it doesn’t just chime – it also sends a notification directly to your phone. With various settings allowing you to ignore, answer or send out an automated voice message of your choice, the days of having to rush out of the shower when the delivery man calls will soon be long gone.
Philips Hue Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is one of the latest home must-haves, and when it comes to the best options out there, Philips is the brand that is leading the pack. A Philips Hue Starter Pack includes a bridge unit that connects easily to your router, along with three bulbs. If you have an Amazon Echo Plus, a compatible hub is built in, so you won’t need the bridge unit – but with the ability to let you set schedules, dim the lights slowly at night or turn them up gently in the morning to mimic a sunrise effect, it’s a versatile kit that is worth the small investment.
If you’re out of the house or jet-setting abroad on business and want to have the lights turn on and off in your absence for security reasons, you can do it all from wherever you are, via your mobile phone.
With a few ‘smart’ choices, you can transform your residence into the high-tech luxury pad of your dreams– and once you go virtual, you’ll never go back.