I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to “smart home” devices. I like to be able to control and monitor every system of my house from wherever I am. If I end up staying out late I know I can turn on or off lights or adjust the thermostat via my cellphone. If a friend needs to borrow a tool from the garage, I can open it for them remotely and ensure it is closed after. These devices also help make my home safer and I like having peace of mind that if carbon monoxide is detected my furnace will automatically be turned off or if I leave my front door unlocked I’ll be alerted and can lock it from the road.
There’s now a “smart” device available for every room of the house it seems. I recently reviewed a connected Crock-Pot that Belkin makes. There’s a Bluetooth frying pan on the market and a toilet you can control via your smartphone. With many more of these devices coming in 2016, here’s three that have me excited.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the need or wanted a landline at home. As my children get older though (and my wife breaks iPhones faster than Apple releases them) it’s one of those things I have been considering again for safety reasons and the Ooma Telo has piqued my interest.
The Ooma Telo is a VoIP device (meaning it uses your Internet connection to make calls) and has a very low monthly service fee for basic service in Canada. Besides having great rates for international and U.S. calling, the “smart” aspect of it comes into play as it works with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect. It will automatically forward your home number to your mobile number when it detects you are away and will alert you if the Nest Protect senses smoke or carbon monoxide. It will also send a message to your cellphone if someone at home has called 911.
The call quality and standard features, such as voicemail and a smartphone app, are also supposed to be excellent.
For more information on the Ooma Telo, visit ooma.com.
dbell Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell
Just as “smart” locks were all the rage a couple of years ago, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of the “smart” doorbell. There are many options on the market (the Skybell and August Doorbell are two of the more popular ones) but the one I’m most excited for is the dbell Wi-Fi smart video doorbell.
Based out of Oakville, Ontario, dbell has made a low-cost video doorbell that will alert you via an app on your iOS or Android device when someone is at your door. You can communicate live with people remotely (even if they don’t ring the doorbell their motion will be enough to alert you they are at the door) and you can even have it unlock specific door locks. The dbell can also be used to give you a live view so you can monitor the front of your house whenever you wish. Oh, and it can also connect to your existing doorbell chime or an optional wireless chime so that it works as a regular doorbell.
Rumour has it there’s a big update coming from dbell this year to add even more functionality to the device.
For more information on the dbell Wi-Fi smart video doorbell, visit dbell.ca.
Being able to control the temperature of each room of your house not only creates a more comfortable environment for the whole family but it’s also more economical. The Ecovent gives you this capability.
The Ecovent replaces the floor, ceiling or wall register in a room and along with a “smart sensor” wall plug can detect the temperature. Using a smartphone app you will then be able to control the Ecovent to set the desired temperature of that room. The Ecovent will then open or close to allow more or less air into the room to get to the set temperature.
The Ecovent works with a Nest or Sensi thermostat. Unfortunately the cost of outfitting an entire house is currently in the thousands but the price should come down as the device is marketed wider in 2016.
For more info on the Ecovent, visit ecoventsystems.com.
What “smart” home devices are you looking forward to in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments below.