We were all grateful enough when robots started vacuuming our houses years ago. But these little androids were so generous that they went on evolving, because they just can’t help wanting to be more helpful. These days, you can integrate them with your smart home hub and monitor them from afar to make sure they’re not tormenting your pets or ordering any dirty movies that will show up on your credit card bill.
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.
This is the smart TV for the price-conscious shopper who appreciates simplicity. With Roku’s streaming capabilities built in, you have instant access to all of your favorite online content. And it’s small enough to fit in the tiniest of dorms, so a college student you know can finally become the greasy-haired troll they always wanted to be, all without sacrificing entertainment.
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.
It’s not the only streaming box on the market, but for die-hard Apple users it might as well be. Not only because it integrates with Siri and all of your other Apple devices, or because it’s the only streaming device that can play your iTunes collection right out of the box. That’s all true, but here’s the real reason: the one with the golden ticket houses the ghost of Steve Jobs.
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.
Everyone knows that if you leave your lawn health up to the weather, you might as well just light it on fire. I mean, you might as well invite a herd of bison to graze unfettered. I mean really. So you bought a sprinkler system, but the stupid thing will turn on in the middle of a monsoon. A smart sprinkler controller will fix that so you can have a decent lawn for once.
The Philips Hue system gives you complete control over your home lighting with every shade of white light you can imagine, 16 million different colors, and full integration with your smart home system so you can schedule your lights to do all kinds of tricks automatically. Instantly make your home as beautiful, soothing, or obnoxious as you want.