It’s 2023 and there’s a smart version of pretty much every home gadget you can picture. Most of these products are internet-enabled and offer exclusive apps to control them from your smartphone through the tap of a button or simple voice commands. It’s now easier than ever to automate tasks like adjusting the temperature when you’re not at home, leading to significant savings on your energy bills, or getting an instant alert whenever there is movement in your home, for peace of mind when you’re away from home. While wrist computers and self driving cars used to be the stuff of science fiction, today, the most awe-inspiring gadgets are the ones that can just make like simpler and easier. We looked at a host of innovative smart home gadgets that offer a multitude of benefits and conveniences. These are five of the most game-changing smart home gadgets to transform your house into a connected smart haven.
- Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is a game changer in the kitchen. One of the coolest features of this fridge is that you can see what’s inside right from your phone, so you’ll never have to wonder again whether you need to pick up milk or eggs on your way home. You can also make shopping lists and order groceries directly from the refrigerator using apps like Instacart and Amazon Dash.
It features a large 21.5-inch touchscreen display, that allows you to make drawings or notes, play music with apps like Spotify, set reminders, schedule, and prep your meals, and even control other smart devices in your home. And with different sizes and finishes to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your kitchen. While we haven’t been hands-on with it yet, we did review an LG fridge-freezer.
- Meta Quest 2
Meta Quest 2 (previously sold as Oculus Quest 2) from Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook, Inc.), is undeniably the ultimate virtual reality headset that lets you immerse yourself in a whole new world without the need for a PC or console. This cutting-edge device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 SoC and features 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM, making it one of the most advanced standalone VR headsets on the market. With a resolution of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye and a 90Hz refresh rate, the MQ2 brings you the most realistic VR experience yet.
But it’s not just about the tech specs, the MQ2 also comes with two controllers that allow for intuitive and natural hand gestures, making interactions in the virtual world feel like second nature. You can access a wide range of content including movies, TV shows, games, and virtual worlds, all in a seamless and intuitive manner.
This all-in-one VR system makes setup a breeze – just a few minutes and you’ll be ready to play. Say goodbye to complicated external sensors or cameras, because everything you need is right in the headset. Plus, the Oculus Guardian system will have you marking out your play area in no time, so you can avoid any bumps and bruises from accidentally running into furniture.
With storage options of 128GB or 256GB, you can choose the version that best suits your needs. The Meta Quest 2 starts at $399 in the U.S. and £399 in the U.K. for the 128GB unit, but we suggest paying a little more to get the 256GB option, which is available for $499 or £499. It’s worth the investment to have more storage for games and apps. The Meta Quest 2 offers a truly immersive and unparalleled virtual reality experience, delivering realism and fun in a seamless manner.
- Tonal home gym
Tonal is a complete gym with a personal trainer available at any time, right in your home. Tonal is a smart home gym that offers personalized workout plans and uses digital weights. It features two adjustable arms with handles, like a cable machine to provide a full-body workout through electromagnetic resistance, and a huge touchscreen display that guides you through your workout and provides real-time feedback on how you performed, essentially replacing your traditional strength training tools, such as dumbbells, barbells, and cable machines.
One of the most intriguing features of Tonal is that it uses artificial intelligence to adjust your workout as you progress, suggesting new exercises and increasing resistance as you get stronger. Tonal offers a wide array of programs, including strength training, cardio, HIIT, and more, and everything can be customized to fit your fitness level and goals. Even top athletes like LeBron James and Serena Williams have taken notice of Tonal’s capabilities, becoming investors and brand partners.
Tonal’s advanced technology, personalized approach, and real-time feedback make it one of the smartest and complete fitness equipment on the market, providing a comprehensive and efficient workout experience that helps you achieve your fitness goals.
- Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is a smart thermostat from Google that learns your preferences and adjusts the temperature accordingly with its built-in energy-saving algorithm. For example, if you typically set the temperature to 70 degrees at 7 am, and 66 degrees at 10 pm, the thermostat will remember these settings and automatically adjust the temperature for you.
You can set schedules, adjust the temperature, and even check how much energy you’re using from anywhere with the Nest app on your smartphone. The Nest Learning Thermostat can also be integrated with other smart home devices such as lights, cameras, and security systems. See how it worked in our in-home testing and review of Nest Learning Thermostat.
It has a feature called “Auto-Away,” which uses built-in motion sensors to detect when you’re away from home and automatically adjusts the temperature to conserve energy. On average, the Nest Learning Thermostat saves about 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, which leads to an average savings of $131 to $145 a year. It’s unarguably one of the best Thermostats out there on the market today.
- Ring Alarm Pro
Ring Alarm Pro is a comprehensive DIY home security system that includes a base station with a built-in eero Wi-Fi 6 router, keypad, contact sensors, motion detectors, and range extenders, all of which can be controlled through the Ring app on your smartphone. It is easy to set up, you can self-install the system without any professional assistance. Check out our full review of Ring Alarm to see what it’s really like to set up, install and use.
The Ring Alarm Pro utilizes geofencing technology to enable automatic arm and disarm functionality based on your location, adding an extra layer of security altogether. The system can also be integrated with other Ring devices such as doorbells and cameras, as well as with other smart home devices such as lights and locks, to give you complete control over your home’s security.
Although the Ring Alarm Pro can be self-monitored, however, a Protect Pro plan is required for professional monitoring, which includes police and fire department dispatch, push and email alerts, and 60 days of video history for $20/month or $200/year. The plan also includes Alexa Guard Plus and Eero Secure features.
The Ring Alarm Pro system is a flexible and customizable security solution that allows you to monitor and protect your home from anywhere, at any time.
When choosing a smart home device, it’s important to consider compatibility with your existing ecosystem and your specific needs. These five innovative gadgets considerably change the way you interact with your home and offer a range of benefits in terms of convenience, efficiency, and overall quality of life. While some of these devices may seem a bit dear, they do offer significant returns on investment in terms of the features and capabilities they provide.
Our picks are the best in their respective categories, but if you’re looking for more options, check out our individual pages in the Smart Home category. Here, you’ll find in-depth information on the best smart lights, smart faucets, smart security cameras, and other devices to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
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