Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa
You didn’t think Amazon was going to stay out of the streaming game, did you? The main reason to buy an Amazon Fire TV over the competitors? It integrates with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant. So if she’s been running your house for a while, keep her happy by making sure this is your streaming device.
With a little bit of electrical knowledge, you can bring your standard appliances under your control even from afar, sort of like a psychic zombie warlord. Okay, so it’s not that cool. But you can make a lamp turn on from the other room.
Amazon’s indoor security camera includes night vision for around-the-clock surveillance and links up with Alexa right out of the box, so you can pull up your video feed with the sound of your voice anytime you want. Cloud cam subscription allows expanded clip storage and more sophisticated alert features. Two-way audio allows you to startle the crap out of unsuspecting guests.
Many days, all you really need to get out of bed is a great cup of coffee. But before you can even make coffee, you have to get out of bed. It’s one of life’s great conundrums. With a coffee machine like this, you can schedule it to have a great cup of joe ready for you as soon as you wake up. So all you have to do is drag your sorry carcass out of the sack and your day is ready to hit overdrive.
The original smart speaker and still the reigning champ of the category (in popularity at least). Alexa, the Echo’s tireless digital assistant, can do wonders for you: make your grocery list, play your favorite music on Spotify, or order more cashmere socks after a long night of mooning the paparazzi. Connect it to a fully functional hub and you can control your vast smart device kingdom with the sound of your voice.
The Roku Streaming Stick may be the Roku Ultra’s little brother, but it definitely punches above its weight. It features all the same channels, a voice activated remote, and a sleek design that remains hidden out of sight so no one has to look at your dongle while they watch TV.
Your poorly timed dad jokes aren’t the only thing sucking the energy out of the room. Inefficient appliance usage can be a major drag on your budget. The Sense Home Energy Monitor will help you figure out what you’re doing wrong. Unfortunately, it can’t make you funnier.
What day does the milk expire? Who the hell knows the answer to a question like that off the top of their head? Actually, your refrigerator does, if you’ve got one of these. Interior cameras allow you to monitor food levels from your phone, and you can receive instant messages when the door is left open so you know which kid to beat. Just kidding. Don’t do that.
This is the centerpiece that ties all of your connected devices together. Automation is the name of the game with smart home equipment, and with a hub like the Samsung SmartThings you can get as sophisticated as you want. Use schedules and routines to make your smart home operation as hands off as you wish your relationship with your boss could be.