THE FU­TURE IS NOW

How to con­trol al­most every­thing in your home with your phone

StarMetro Calgary - - COOL STUFF - GER­ALD VANDER PYL

Want to have the coolest home on the block? Then fill it with all the lat­est smart home de­vices.

“A lot of peo­ple are fa­mil­iar with smart home, and they have bits and pieces of it, but are look­ing at ex­pand­ing,” said Steven Toews, gen­eral man­ager of Best Buy’s Deer­foot Mead­ows lo­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Toews, smart light­ing is the top-selling smart home cat­e­gory.

He says au­tomat­ing the lights in a home used to cost thou­sands of dol­lars, but now you can buy prod­ucts like the Phillips Hue bulbs and hub to “do it your­self and have con­trol of the light­ing us­ing your phone.”

An­other great ad­di­tion to any smart home is a voice as­sis­tant, such as an Ama­zon Echo or Google Home.

“They are the gate­way to every­thing else,” he said. “You can tell them to con­trol all the pieces that you buy, and (they) give you ac­cess with your voice. You don’t even have to pull your phone out.”

There are also smart ther­mostats from com­pa­nies like Nest and Ecobee, which are able to con­trol tem­per­a­tures more evenly and from re­mote lo­ca­tions.

Mean­while, the Skylink garage door opener lets you use your phone to see if you left the door open, or open it for you when it de­ter­mines you are pulling into the drive­way.

Toews says an im­proved ver­sion of the old, dig­i­tal photo frames is called a dig­i­tal can­vas, a large wall­mounted monitor that looks like stylish, framed art­work.

He says a Meu­ral dig­i­tal can­vas can down­load fa­mous art im­ages from the In­ter­net and dis­play them on its spe­cial matte fin­ish screen.

“You can put up a Pi­casso, or use your own pho­tos,” he said.

Toews says ap­pli­ances are also smarter than ever. Some Sam­sung re­frig­er­a­tors have tablets built into the door and a cam­era in­side, so you can use your phone to see if you are out of milk.

While these are some of the most pop­u­lar op­tions, there are many other unique smart home prod­ucts avail­able on the mar­ket.

Portable air con­di­tion­ing units made by Frigidaire and oth­ers can be con­trolled us­ing your cell phone. The Anova Pre­ci­sion Cooker is a sous vide cooker that lets you start and monitor the cook­ing process from afar over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, us­ing recipes from its smart phone app.

Sim­i­larly, the Char-Broil au­to­matic dig­i­tal smoker makes it easy to mas­ter the hours-long rit­ual of smok­ing meat, fish and even nuts. If that’s not your speed, you can give a treat to your dog while you are at work,with the Petzi Treat Cam.

Yard work can also be made eas­ier with the Robo­mow ro­botic grass cut­ter, which can au­to­mat­i­cally mow a lawn of up to 23,000 square feet.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.