Home automation is one of the hottest technology trends for spring 2015. Did you know that you can open your front door with just your iPhone? Or that there’s a tech device that controls your heating, cooling, water heater and will actually notify you when it needs maintenance? It’s true! Renowned technology journalist Andrea Smith was kind enough to join me this morning for a great interview on the top tech must haves for the home for 2015, she dished on the must haves we all need to ensure our smart home is a happy home, and she also shared a great wearable tech gadget that not only helps you stay fit, but organized and on top of your emails, and text messages, too.
Candace Rose: What are the hottest tech must haves for spring 2015?
Andrea Smith: “Well, right now home automation is really big. The big thing is connected door locks. We have the Schlage Sense. This turns your iPhone into your key. Say you’re coming home with your arms loaded with groceries for dinner or maybe a baby in one arm, you never have to touch the lock. In fact, it’s going to work with Apple’s HomeKit which means you can tell Siri to unlock your door. My favorite feature is you can give access codes to a visitor or a nanny or even a one time code to a repair person that you later revoke.
The other thing inside the home is the Rheem EcoNet. This is like a central hub. It controls your heating, your cooling and your water heater all through the central hub. It’s connected via wifi, so of course on your mobile device when you’re out you can check and change the temperature in your home. This is really neat because it sends you a notification if you need to do maintenance – change an air filter. More importantly it alerts you to a problem like a water leak that may need service.
People ask me all the time how they can get these devices to each other? When is that going to happen? That is now, Candi. This is the Logitech Harmony Ultimate-Home (please see video above for details). I call this a remote on steroids because this connects with so many smart devices in your home, so you can use the remote or your app on your phone or dim your Philips hue lights or adjust your Nest learning thermostat. Then they have these Harmony Activities, they’re like recipes and you can create a recipe that says when I wake up in the morning I want to raise the blinds, I want to turn on that connected coffee pot and maybe turn on the TV on mute so that you can check the day’s weather.”
Candace Rose: What are some ways to be connected on the go?
Andrea Smith: “People really want to stay connected on the go, but one of the biggest complaints people have is storage. The Kingston 5-in-1 Mobile Companion gives you extra storage by letting you take video content or content you want to carry with you, put it on a USB flash drive or on an SD card that goes right into the device. This is a wifi hotspot so you access the content and anybody traveling with you can access this content. The reason this is so great is this frees your device to take videos of your kids or what you’re doing and it gives you room to load up all those pictures.
The other big trend right now is wearable fitness tech. This is the Basis Peak. I’ve been wearing it for a few days, it’s sleek, it’s lightweight. It gives me a comprehensive overview of my daily activity, my sleep. It also gives me my 24/7 heart rate – not just when I’m at the gym but all day heart rate, and the battery lasts for four days which is pretty awesome. Here’s my favorite part for staying connected – I can get emails and text messages right on my wrist. I don’t have to go digging through my bag to find my phone, so I am always connected when I want to be.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Andrea Smith: “Well, if you want to check out more information on any of the products that we talked about, go to KillerApps.tv.”