Making a loved one’s life easier is always an ideal present. So, what about giving the gift of convenience this holiday?
And with the right smart device, homeowners can control just about every electronic device or function inside their homes — from ceiling lights and door locks to temperatures in stews and bedrooms. The field is wide and expanding all the time. Samsung's Galaxy Home, for example, is the company's answer to the smart home ecosystem, which aims to sync all of your home's smart devices. It's not on sale yet, but there are plenty of options that are.
From smart assistants and microwaves to doorbells and toothbrushes, we’ve rounded up some smart gifts that will wow almost any homeowner during the holidays. Whether you're shopping for someone who is looking to make the leap into home automation technology or dreaming of expanding their smart home ecosystem (or a tech enthusiast who just wants the latest connected devices), this list is for them. (For other tech shopping advice, check out our guides to laptops, TVs, and wireless earbuds.)
Best smart home gifts for the bedroom
This small Echo Dot can easily fit on a bedroom nightstand. It can double as an alarm clock, too. Just ask Alexa to set an alarm (or a full-blown routine). The light sensor adjusts the brightness on the recently included display.
This smartphone-enabled light therapy lamp doubles as an alarm clock, too. The built-in sensor measures bedroom temperature, noise, light and humidity levels – giving recommendations for better sleep.
Philips has more affordable options. This wake-up alarm clock is a good example. You can set the light to begin brightening before your chosen wake-up time — and read by its light before falling asleep.
While this appears to be an odd-looking pillow, it’s actually a smart sleep device. This bean-shaped pillow boasts "technology and software like breathing and motion detection to optimize your sleep". Consider this the snore-free cuddling machine you've been waiting for.
Best smart home gifts for the entrance
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More compact than previous generations and with an increased range, the new SimpliSafe system promises a more seamless and easy security system. The company promises no tools are required for setup and it can be done in "just a few minutes." The monitoring ecosystem that powers doesn't ask for a contract and is designed to withstand power and WiFi outages.
The Ring Smart Doorbell gives users real-time alerts and video footage at the door. You can connect the device via Wi-Fi and use the Ring app to interact with visitors while away from home, too.
Stick this device on the door or window to detect any movement. A "quiet open" feature allows users to open a without setting off the alarm.
Best smart home gifts for the kitchen
Connect GE's clever microwave to Amazon Alexa to use voice commands to get that popcorn popping from the other room — yes, really. It takes the guesswork out of microwaving, too. Scan the barcode on frozen foods and the microwave will provide suggestions on how long it will take to cook.
For the morning rush, this seven-inch display and touchscreen from Google will tell you everything you need to know for the day ahead. Voice match will pull up appointments, reminders or create to-do lists. You can also watch the news, pull up and follow recipes for some home cooking and blast your favorite songs.
It pressure cooks, slow cooks, sautes, steams and so on. And now, it also works with Amazon Alexa or another smart assistant through its dedicated app. From more than a thousand scripted cooking processes to getting alerts when it's time to add some seasoning, this is a massive step up for one of the biggest trends in home cooking.
Best smart home gifts for the living room
Let Google Nest play some tunes while you're cleaning up the house. Or ask Google Assistant for the weather forecast or latest headlines, podcasts, and YouTube videos. Or use it to control any of the other devices on this list you grabbed. This smart home hub is small but mighty, and acts as foundation to the rest of your home.
Schedule fans, lights or other appliances to turn on and off, or control them remotely when you're away. Once you plug anything into this smart plug, it becomes part of your smart home. That means you can turn an antique lamp into a voice-controlled light that can turn on when you get home and turn off when you leave. Just tell Alexa what to do next.
Lite is an entry-level smart thermostat that is compatible with the big smart assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT. It’s designed to work with room sensors to help manage those pesky hot or cold spots around the living room.
Best smart home gifts for the bathroom
Waking up in the middle of the night? Tell your Google Nest Mini to turn on the bathroom light. This entry starter kit comes with one bulb and the smart assistant, paving the way for a smarter home, one room at a time.
For FitBit users, this smart scale will automatically sync weight, BMI, and body fat percentage right to the FitBit dashboard.
Pair this Philips electric toothbrush with its dedicated app and get instant alerts while you're brushing, like when you’re pressing too hard on your teeth or moving to another part of your mouth too quickly. In effect, the app can play a big role in fixing some of your oral hygiene mistakes.
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