I love technology, I use it on a daily basis. It allows me to conduct interviews with trusted experts that are 3,000 miles away and share their wonderful tips with all of you. Unfortunately when technology goes down or isn’t very reliable, it can be a real downer, especially when we need it around our homes or in our vehicles. If you’ve been on the hunt for a gadget or two to help you stay connected, you’re in luck! Tech expert, Andrea Smith was kind enough to join me for an interview this morning to dish on six must have tech products that everyone needs to help them stay connected at home and in the car.
Candace Rose: What are some ways that we can be connected at home?
Andrea Smith: “There’s lots of great ways to be connected at home. First there’s the Staples Connect. It’s a universal hub that lets your devices already in your home talk to each other and it lets you use them all with just one app. It’s really simple to use, you can come home from work, your garage door opens up, your front door will unlock, your thermostat and lights get turned on the way you want them to. It works with companies like Honeywell, Philips, GE. It’s great for small businesses. It’s wonderful because you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription option just the one time purchase and you can purchase these at Staples.com./StaplesConnect.”
Candace Rose: How can we stay connected to our cars?
Andrea Smith: “To stay connected to the car, there’s the Delphi Connect. This is a little device that goes in the OBD port in your car. Once it’s there, you can track and monitor your automobile’s movements in real time on your smartphone. You can also get health diagnostics, but here’s the other thing, you can track your teenagers. If you’ve given them a little geofencing location and say don’t go out of this area, you will get a notification if they do. It’s kind of scary for kids.
But if they’re really good you can get them the 4G LTE version running on Verizon or US Cellular, and you can make your whole car into a Wi-Fi hotspot for your next summer road trip. You can reward them that way.
The Logitech Harmony remote is perfect because it gets rid of all the remotes on your coffee table, this one color touch remote does it all. It connects to Philips Hue lights in your home and it connects to the Sonos Wireless speaker system. So when you press ‘watch tv’ tv goes on, lights go dim, music comes up, everything’s automated.”
Candace Rose: Are you seeing any new trends in smartphones?
Andrea Smith: “Some trends in smartphones is waterproof. The Kyocera Hydro Icon phone is wonderful, it’s great for kids because it’s waterproof. You can just drop it in (accidentally of course) in the pool or in the lake. And when you take it out, wipe it off. It still works. It’s a really durable phone, it’s made of military standards and the great thing about this for kids is it’s running on Boost Mobile without a contract. It’s still 4G LTE at an affordable $150 and it’s got that great 4.5 inch HD touchscreen, so a really good smartphone.
And inside the home you can automate some products too, the Bali Automated Window Treatment powered by Somfy is fabulous because if you want to kind of control your sunshine a little bit, you can program these to come down during the day, keep the sunshine out, hold off on your energy costs a little bit there. It’s easy to use, you can use a remote, you can use a wall switch or even one of these Z-wave enabled hubs like the Staples Connect will control this.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Andrea Smith: “Yes, tons. You can get tons more information about all of these products at KillerApps.tv.”