It’s getting harder to find homes across the country that don’t have some type of Jetson’s-style technology helping with things like heating, lighting or general housework. Today, home tech is becoming both more common and less expensive, which means if you’ve been thinking about getting some fancy features in your home, now’s the time.
Here’s a list of our favorite tech that’ll make you feel like you’re living along side George Jetson (aside from space cars…yet).
Smart speakers (also called virtual assistants) are internet-connected speakers that help you do things like shop online, control your TV and lights, play music, and answer questions.
These smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, are becoming wildly popular; by the end of 2017, 39 million Americans owned a smart speaker, and that was even before Apple’s speaker was released.
By syncing these devices to your music apps, electronics, or just by leaving one on the coffee table in the living room, you can use voice commands or phone apps to control your house.
Sure, walking over to flip a light switch doesn’t seem like such a giant task, but you’ll never want to get up again after asking your virtual assistant, “Can you turn on the lights?”
Smart lights are internet-connected and can be used by voice command or via phone app, and these lights can be easily added in a few different ways:
Wi-Fi Outlet Adapters
These smart sockets, from makers like Wemo and Bayit, are small outlets that you plug into your wall outlets. You can then plug in lamps (or anything with a switch) and either ask your smart speakers or use your phone to turn them on or off.
Smart Light Bulbs
Mart light bulbs are like normal light bulbs, except they’re internet-connected. Some can even change to whatever color you want. Like Wi-Fi outlet adapters, you can use voice commands or your phone to control the light bulbs.
Something happened in the past 30 years. Instead of excitedly running towards the door when we hear the doorbell chime, many homeowners now get a “why is someone here” chill down their spine. And home tech companies know this.
Video doorbell systems can let you see and hear who is ringing your doorbell from your couch, your office or halfway around the world. You can even talk to them through your phone and a speaker in the doorbell.
This helps with package arrivals, guests (expected and unannounced), and catching neighboorhood kids playing ding-dong-ditch.
Light-up Alarm Clocks
Hate being jolted awake by the sound of a blaring alarm? Light-up alarm clocks wake you up softly and slowly with the power of sunshine-like light.
Here’s how they work: most models begin lighting up your bedroom about 30 minutes before you set the audible alarm. This alarm (a backup in case you’re in a coma) begins softly and grows in volume until you turn it off.
The point of the light is to wake you up “naturally,” as if the sun is shining through your window. This use of light is also supposed to ease you out of your deep REM sleep cycle, make you feel less groggy and more refreshed.
Now we’re really talking Jetson’s style of living. Robotic vacuums aren’t anything new, but they’re still a huge time saver in addition to keeping your house cleaner more often.
There are a lot of robotic vacuums on the market today, like Roomba, Neato, Eufy and Moneual, and while they don’t give you jazzy comebacks like Rosie from The Jetson’s, one of these vacuums is basically your own personal maid (if only handling the floors).
They work by mapping out your floor plan, then vacuuming the entire floor while avoiding obstacles like chairs and decor. They even recharge on their own, meaning all you have to do is clean out their debris bin every so often.
What we want to see
These are just a few of our favorites, but in a perfect world, here’s what we’d buy for our homes:
- Entirely silent garage doors. No more creaks and groans.
- Wall paint that can change color at the touch of a button.
- Robot butlers (who can make a mean martini).
- Mind control appliances. (Why push “start” when your smoothie can blend itself?)