Half a century ago, visionaries like Walt Disney dreamed of the day we would have a smart home. Even when the movie “Smart House” came out in 1999, the idea of having a real smart home seemed… unreal.
Today, having a smart home is not only is it possible, it is also completely accessible. There isn’t need to build a home from the ground up with smart technology. Thanks to the gadgets of today, pretty much any home can become a smart home!
Here are some of my favorite gadgets that will turn any house into a smart home.
Smart Home gadgets: Splurge on an 8K TV
Just when you were starting to wrap your head around 4K TV, 8K is here. Samsung is one of the first in Canada to release a consumer TV with 8K resolution. We’ll take a look at what 8K is and how it compares to 4K TV, or your old HD TV, plus what this particular model, the 75″ 2019 Samsung 8K QLED Q900R is like in person. It’s got some additional features that make it an interesting upgrade too. Don’t forget to check out the full review and video review of the Samsung 8K Q900R to see the picture quality and features firsthand. This is the ultimate gadget to splurge on, and you’ll be way ahead of the Joneses when it comes to advanced TV technology.
Smart Home gadgets: Google Nest Hub Max with Nest Cam
This season we’ve seen a flurry of new smart home hubs, control centers, smart speakers and digital assistants. Google and Amazon are absolutely owning the market when it comes to these voice controlled home helpers, making versions in every size, shape and configuration, with speakers, with and without screens, and with digital displays. The latest is a premium version of the Google Nest Hub; a bigger, bolder Google Nest Hub Max.
Google’s Nest Hub Max (read the full review and watch the video here) is a smart speaker with display. It’s everything you love about the Nest Hub (released earlier in 2019) and the Google Assistant which supplies personalized help, answers from Google, control for your connected home and more. This version adds a bigger and more powerful speaker, larger 10″ screen and Nest Hub Max’s built-in Nest Cam features help you keep an eye on your home while you’re away. It can control your smart home gadgets with voice control, and the Hub Max is AC powered so it’s always ready to respond to you.
Smart Home gadgets: Joule Sous Vide cooker
Time to get smart in the kitchen. The Joule Sous Vide Cooker is a new way to cook that will keep you from overcooking or undercooking your food. How’s that for a sous chef?
Sous Vide cooking uses a hot water bath controlled by the contraption to cook food at the exact temperature it is supposed to. You can leave food unattended, make sure the meat is cooked all the way through, and even keep the pieces of meal at the perfect temperature as you wait to serve (or cook the rest of it!).
Sous Vide is a whole new way of cooking, which can take some getting used to, but if you are someone who wants to be freed from the chains of having to watch your food as it cooks, this is a great solution for you. You can read the full review here.
Bonus mention: Check out the Thermomix Cooking Robot. If I said one device could replace nearly every kitchen appliance you own, you’d probably think I was starting a late-night infomercial. But an appliance I’ve discovered may actually be able to deliver on that promise. It’s called a Thermomix, and though it’s very popular in Australia and Europe, it’s virtually unknown in Canada and the US.
Amazon Echo Show 5: a video-enabled Digital Assistant
A digital assistant has got to be the epitome of a smart home. The Amazon Echo Show 5 can give you answers to questions and queries and you can also use it for video calls, see music information, view the weather forecast, link it up to security cameras and baby monitors, use it as a video room-to-room intercom system, and even as a home hub or alarm clock. Even though the screenless options are pretty complete already, I’ve come to love the versatility of the Show with a screen.
You can read the full review here.
Ultimate smart home: iRobot Roomba s9+ robot vacuum… and
It’s hard to imagine a true smart home without gadgets that will allow your home to “self-clean”. For that reason, this is one of two cleaning robots I’ve included in this list.
The iRobot Roomba s9+ is an improvement on previous Roomba robots thanks to automatic emptying and improved mapping technology. It cleans up pretty much any dry dirt and rubbish (as long as it’s relatively small – it probably won’t suck up entire cookies).
In short – I love my Roomba. Read why in the full review here. And the best part is that the vacuum can clean in tandem with the mop below! You can have all your floors swept, then mopped by your robot army, and all you have to do is ask Google or Alexa!
…iRobot Braava jet m6 robot mop
The iRobot Braava jet m6 is a fully rechargeable, automated, smartphone-connected mopping robot and base station. You can choose disposable cleaning pads, or, and this is a new feature many folks have been asking for, iRobot also makes washable, reusable pads too. The Braava jet m6 mop will also handle dry sweeping, kind of like using a swiffer. Depending which pads you attach, the robot automatically knows what to do. Read the full review of the iRobot m6 and watch the video of it in action here.
I was fortunate enough to have both robots to test out together and I found they are a dynamite team. The user interface means it’s easy to run, or schedule the bots, and being able to have one go out, followed by the other is a time saver that makes my pet-worn floors super clean every other day. I really notice a difference in the floors at our house when the iRobot army has been in service.
Smart Home gadgets: Hobot Window washing robot
The window-cleaning robot is by far more original than a floor-cleaning robot, right? I’m not sure why more options haven’t entered the cleaning sphere – the time it takes to keep windows crystal clean is clearly undervalued.
Smart Home gadgets: Philips Hue coloured Outdoor Lights
Of course we need some app-controlled lights on this list! And these are definitely among my favorite. App controlled indoor lights have become quite common in the last few years, but outdoor smart lights are harder to come by. I love the Philips Hue user experience overall and I recommend it highly for folks looking for an easy entry into the smart lighting sphere. Find the full review and the video about how they look and how to get them set up here.
Smart Home gadgets: Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum
Vacuums are one of those things you buy maybe once or twice in your lifetime, right? They tend to be expensive, so you want to choose wisely. The Dyson V11 Absolute is the next-generation cordless model from well known manufacturer and innovator, Dyson. This cordless vacuum clear packs a screen on its rear and a new smart sensing technology to adjust power automatically. The company touts that this is the best Dyson vacuum cleaner in their lineup. Read more about it or click to watch the video of the Dyson v11 Absolute in action.
Want to make your home even smarter? Check out all of my smart home gadget reviews by clicking here.