Smart homes are not a thing of the future, it’s actually happening now! Here’s how to get your house all rigged up with the best smart devices.
A smart home is a happy home. At least, we’d like to that. I mean with a smart speaker reminding you of your appointments for the day, turning on and off the lights on cue, listening to your favourite song on your spiffy wireless speakers, and not worrying about whether you locked the door… that would make anyone happy, right?
Created to fit seamlessly into your home both aesthetically (the Mini comes in three versatile colours: chalk, charcoal and coral while the Google Home stands pretty with a fabric base) and as a unit, the Google Home is a delightful addition to any household. No really, we don’t just throw the word ‘delightful’ around. Having recently launched in Singapore, Google Home is a fully voice-activated speaker and you can make it perform various tasks from reading the news, playing music from your Spotify account, creating reminders, scheduling events, setting alarms and more. Set it to Singapore English and you’ll find Google Assistant added in some local colloquialisms: cue the cool party tricks.
Prices start from $79, Google Store
Sonos Play 1
If you love tech and is a major audiophile, then picking a smart home speaker might get a bit frustrating. If a full-bodied sound is something important to you, Sonos Play 1 is a great-sounding device that incorporates the Alexa speaker with the audio expertise of Sonos. You’ll still get to hear that Whitney Houston track in its full glory don’t worry, but you get to request it by just a voice command.
Prices start from $250, various locations
August DoorSense smart lock
Keys? So over it. What you need is a smart lock, arguably the most important part of a truly smart, connected home. Opening and locking doors by voice activation is no longer a thing in the future. The August DoorSense will let you lock and unlock doors and allow you to double-check whether you remembered to lock your door to put your mind at ease. It also comes with August’s internet bridge, Connect where you can get doors to unlock for you automatically when you’re near home. No more rummaging for keys in your oversized bag…
Prices start from $358, Opulence
Philips Hue smart lighting
Lighting is a big part of what makes a house a home – and Philips helps to make it a little smarter with its range of smart LED lights that offers a mix of colors and effects you can control remotely. Plus point: LEDs last much longer than other types of lights, and consume less energy, too. Philips Hue lights also integrate well with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and other smart home platforms so you can use voice activation to change the lights. Each starter kit comes with a bridge that allows you to use more of the fun features in the Hue app like lighting scenes and third-party features.
Prices start from $39.99 (without a bridge), various locations
TP-Link smart plugs
We’ll let you in on a secret. You can actually make any device “smart” without forking more money, plus it’s real simple and inexpensive as well. With the TP-Link HS105 plug, you can control power from your smartphone, wherever you are. The app also lets you create a schedule to turn the plug on and off, and has an “Away” mode that will turn your devices on to make it look like you’re home. It can also be linked to other smart home devices, such as Alexa and Google Home to voice activate even more devices. The possibilities are endless in this smart world.
Prices start from $31, various locations
Instant Pot Smart
Wondering why everyone’s talking about Instant Pot? It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker and ultimate cooking machine in the kitchen (it does saute and simmer too). This thing also has Bluetooth and it’s very own app where you can monitor the progress of your cooking or even start (and stop) a new cycle from your phone. The app also has a recipe database, select the one you want and it will automatically send the preferred settings to your cooker. Best part? The results are actually pretty legit.
Prices start from $300, Lazada