homes4u's 5 tech items every home should have
Sometimes getting up to turn off your lights or answer the door is the last thing you want to do. Especially after a hard day’s work when all you can think about is your bed. Well here are five smart tech items that every home should invest in.
Amazon Echo: Amazon - £99.99
Sporting a simplistic but stylish tube shaped design and multi-directional speakers is not what makes the Amazon Echo so great. What makes it the must have piece of home tech comes down to its virtual assistant, Alexa. Of course, most of the features Alexa is capable of do require other devices; you won’t have much luck asking Alexa to turn off your lights if she has no way of connecting to them. But, the tasks she can handle on her own more than make up for your purchase of the Echo.
Want her to order you an Uber? Tell you about the weather? Or even order a pizza? Alexa can do all this all by simply asking her. Alexa has quite a good understanding of everything you say, if your accent is a tad on the strong side you may end up running into a few problems, but Alexa is continuously being improved to prevent this.
Furbo: Amazon - £239
Have you ever wondered what your four legged friends get up to when you’re out of the house? I always imagine they are getting up to strange and wacky antics like the dogs featured in the ‘buddies’ films. Well that’s where Furbo comes in. The smart dog camera lets you see exactly what mischief they are getting up to.
The device comes complete with a microphone and speaker for when you want to talk to your dog. Furbo can also give out treats to your furry friends with the press of a button on your smartphone.
Android Box – Recommended choice: T95Z Plus, Amazon – £53.99
Android TV boxes seem to be everywhere at the moment. Just searching for the term on Amazon can yield hundreds of results and it’s no surprise, Android is a platform that gives you the flexibility to install pretty much anything you want within reason – I’m looking at you Apple.
The T96Z offers an incredibly sleek design featuring a honeycomb pattern and illuminating lights, that I admit drew me to the product in the first place. The T95Z Plus offers more than just looking good, it also comes with a nice user interface with a system that is easy to navigate and provides some nice customization options.
Nest Protect Gen 2, Nest - £99
Once you have purchased a Nest Protect you will wonder why you hadn’t sooner. Mixing the stylish nature of modern devices and the functionality of a smoke alarm was never going to be an easy task, but that is where this device will prove you wrong. It comes in two versions, wired and battery-powered.
Nest protect comes with a smart sensor able to differentiate between smoke and steam, no longer will your alarm go off when simply frying chips or letting the steam from the kettle travel too close to your smoke alarm. The alarm also comes with an unusual but useful path-light feature for when you need to wander around at night without needing to turn on your lights.
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell, Currys - £159
The Ring is a device that not only replaces your doorbell but also provides motion-responsive video recording and alerts, meaning you will never miss a visitor that comes to your home.
Every bell press will show up on your phone, in which you can talk back to the visitor if you so wish. This is great for couriers that arrive at your home when you’re not around, or for notifying family members when you will be returning home. The lens is an ultra-wide angle type with a field of view of 180 degrees horizontal and 140 degrees vertical.