By Jonathan Deesing
Clean floors and fresh java are hardly the coolest things you can get from using smart devices like robotic vacuums and automatic coffee makers in your home. Whether you’re already benefitting from smart devices or not, here are some unexpected ways you can harness this smart tech to spice up your home.
1. Handy Diet Helper
Door sensors aren’t just for keeping burglars out of your house—they can also help you stick to a diet plan. If you’re counting calories, try adding a sensor to the door of your fridge or cupboard where you keep all the most tempting snacks. This clever hack helps keep you honest whether you’re watching your waistline to get back into your favorite jeans or trying to improve your health after your latest physical.
Vivint offers sleek, discreet door sensors that you can easily add to any door—including your fridge and cupboard doors—and once in place, they’re barely noticeable. If you’ve tried and failed to stick to a healthy regimen, then these sensors could be the extra item you need to be accountable for your diet plan and to be as successful as possible. You can also set up alerts that let your support system of friends and family members know when you’re perusing the fridge for a snack so they can give you a friendly reminder to go for something healthier.
2. Smart Sleep Aid
Sometimes, you may struggle to get your Z’s and a pattern of restless nights can affect your work, health, and attitude. Rather than turning to pharmaceuticals to get your full eight hours, try resetting your body’s natural circadian rhythm with smart lighting that mimics the sun’s rising and setting patterns.
Lighting Science offers bulbs that can make this goal easier to attain. The bulbs give off light that doesn’t interfere with melatonin production and complements your body’s biological circadian rhythm, allowing you to get quality sleep each night. Pair their nighttime and morning bulbs with a smart lighting switch like the Caséta Wireless dimmer and correlating app so you can set your household’s bedtime and wakeup calls with just the swipe of your finger. It’s an ideal solution for back-to-school season or to get ready for and recover from holiday travels.
3. After School Assistant
It’s tough to be at work when your little ones get home from school, but thanks to smart technology, you can now greet your kids as soon as they walk in the door—no matter where you are. Two-way video calling lets you welcome your children home, check in on homework, oversee snacks, and make sure they’re attending to chores.
A system such as the Nucleus Anywhere Intercom is the perfect device to help you stay connected. The video-enabled intercom is easy to set up and simple to use. It connects instantly, so you don’t have to wait long for your kids to answer your call. You can also use Amazon’s Alexa to connect to and control the system.
4. Sneaky Teen Booby Trap
For some teenagers, sneaking out of the house at night is a rite of passage, but that doesn’t make it safe. If you’re concerned about your teen prowling the neighborhood streets when they should be home, enlist the help of motion-activated lighting to keep them in check.
With Ring’s Floodlight Cam, you can capture your teen sneaking out on video. The system will even light up and sound an alarm when it detects them. These may seem like extreme measures, but there’s no better time to pull out all the stops than when your kids need to be saved from themselves.
5. Helpful Green Thumb Hack
Win first prize at the garden club or the county fair by putting smart tech to use in your garden. A Wi-Fi–based plant sensor, like the Koubachi, can finally help you turn your thumb green. This nifty gadget measures ambient temperature, soil moisture, and light levels to ensure your plants get the precise care they need to thrive. The paired app even sends email alerts and push notifications with the latest status of your plants along with up-to-the minute advice to keep your blue-ribbon dreams on track.
You can use this one sensor to track multiple plants inside your home or out in the garden. But you need to snap this smart device up fast—the Husqvarna Group recently acquired the Koubachi company, and the current design will only be available through 2018. After that time, you’ll have access to the GARDENA smart system if you’d like to use this tech as you garden.
These life hacks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what smart devices can do for you. Start thinking outside the box with your smart gadgets and stay up to date on the huge variety of devices available. With new technology hitting the market nearly every week, there’s something out there to make anyone’s life easier, more connected, and—yes—smarter.