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Remember when we told you about the Belkin WeMo? Now you can apply the same automated technology to your Texas chili. Just put the ingredients into the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker before you leave the house and start it cooking from anywhere in the world just by using your phone. You can change the pot?s settings to turn up the heat, cool it down or add more cooking time. The only thing missing is a mass ?Dinner?s ready!? text.
Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker ($130)
Not a problem, if you’ve got the August Smart Lock. This keyless lock system allows you to enter your home with nothing but your smartphone. August retrofits to your existing single-cylinder deadbolt and sends you a virtual key via the app. Simply walk up to your door and August will detect your log-in credentials. You can specify who has access to your home, as well as how long the August “keys” are active. (And, just in case, you can still use your regular key the old-fashioned way.)
August Smart Lock ($250)
Leaving your house in the morning is a scramble (and we’re not just talking about your breakfast). So it’s no surprise that you accidentally left all the lights on. Luckily, GE has created the new Link connected LED bulb. It wirelessly syncs with the Wink app, allowing you to adjust your lighting, whenever and wherever. Your electric bill thanks you.
GE Link Connected LED Bulb (from $15)
Introducing Aros, the world?s first smart air conditioner. Aros lets you turn your A/C on or off from literally anywhere via its corresponding app. It also lets you set it to intuitively know when you?re close to home and automatically start chilling. Aros can even help you stick to your budget by keeping track of your A/C spending each month and making suggestions based on your preferences and the upcoming weather forecast (e.g., 40 degrees and rainy equals no more A/C). Now that?s cool.
Um, did you know your thermostat controls half of your energy bill? We didn’t. Here to help you conserve is Nest, a thermostat that learns your habits and sets itself accordingly. For example, it will automatically cool the house down to 60 degrees at night, and warm it back up to 70 degrees come morning. The best part? You can control Nest remotely via the app. So next time you head out on vacation and forget to turn down the heat, it won’t set you back $100.
Improve your environmental footprint with the RainMachine, a sprinkler-control system that forecasts the weather and waters your yard accordingly. Simply install the product, define your zones (from where you live to where your tomato garden lies) and let the device do its work. Just think of all the water you’re about to save, you do-gooder, you.
So now you’ve got your lawn covered, but what about little Herman the ficus. Enter Koubachi, the digital plant whisperer that essentially tells you how your leafy friends are faring and what, exactly, you need to do to keep them healthy. Stick the small golf-club-shaped device right into your pot’s soil and the sensor will then calculate a plan for proper care. (“It’s 95 degrees, so water Herman right now.”)
Calling all vacation-home owners. There’s now a convenient way to monitor your humble abode from afar. Meet Wally. Using six mini sensors, Wally detects changes in temperature, humidity and water level to protect your home from damaging leaks or mold. For example, say the toilet or water heater springs a leak. The device will alert you via a notification to your phone and allow you to take action. The device may be pricey, but peace of mind that your little beach bungalow isn’t suffering from a mildew infestation? Priceless.
Are thoughts of the pending flu season keeping you up at night? Get you hands (err, not?) on the Simplehuman Sensor Pump. This soap dispenser is the most efficient way to wash your hands because it eliminates any contact with germs from people or food. All you need is a quick wave of the hand. You’re so high-tech.
Rechargeable Sensor Pump ($70)
So you live in a small apartment. Or maybe you just need to monitor one room in your home. That’s where Canary comes in. Far less expensive than a full-blown home-security system, Canary is a device that sits in the room of your choosing and monitors its activity via a camera, microphone and motion detectors. Canary learns your patterns and sends alerts when things seem off (OK, that’s definitely not Fido breaking down the door).
Meet Jibo. This 11-inch-tall “family robot” looks like a cross between Siri and a humidifier. Basically, he’s designed to sit on a table and do various voice-activated tasks. He can look up movie times and then buy your tickets. He can keep your calendar and remind you to call your brother. He can also use facial recognition to know when to nudge you versus your husband. Creepy or fantastic? That’s up to you to decide.
The scenario: It?s your anniversary, and your better half wants short ribs. Good thing Mom passed down her award-winning, fall-off-the-bone Crock-Pot recipe.
So you get all the ingredients together that morning, throw them into the pot and--shoot--you?re so late for work. You rush out the door, race to the office and then realize...you never even turned it on.
Well, if you had the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker, you could have fired it up right from your staff meeting. Yep, a wireless slow cooker--it exists.
Visit our slideshow to see this and ten more automated home devices that you probably should have purchased, like, yesterday.
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