Posts Tagged ‘home automation’

4 Great Smart Home Gadgets Under $200

4 Great Smart Home Gadgets Under $200

By Tim Smith


There are plenty of products on the market that can help your home run smarter and more efficiently. Unfortunately, those products have typically come with a pretty steep price tag. The good news is that more and more smart home gadgets are being introduced to the marketplace at an affordable price point, promising real benefits to energy usage and security. Here are the top ones that you can find for under $200.


Quirky Tripper


Via Digital Trends


Quirky’s products are known for innovation, and their Tripper window and door sensors are no exception. These slim-profile sensors, sold in a two-pack for $50, can be installed on doors, windows, pantries or medicine cabinets. When used with a Wink Hub, which Quirky sells for $50, the sensors will send an alert directly to your phone whenever a door or window opens or shuts.














For the ultimate monitoring of your home, turn to Piper, a home security system with motion and sound detection, a 105-decibel intruder deterrent siren, and fully customizable security modes. The webcam runs on AA batteries and can detect changes in light, sound and motion while also monitoring temperature and humidity. The device can send alerts through text messages, emails, and phone calls. It can also be linked to the wide array of Z-Wave home automation accessories. All this for a cool $199.




Belkin WeMo


Via Engadget


Belkin’s WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set uses special bulbs that you can access and control from anywhere. The set sells for $99.99 which includes two Smart LED bulbs and a WeMo link which can connect to up to 50 bulbs. The bulbs cast a light similar to a traditional 60-watt incandescent, but they only consume 10 watts of energy while consuming very little heat. With the free WeMo app, you can create custom schedules for the lighting in your home, either individually or by room. You can even dim the lights in the room directly from your smartphone, or use the sleep feature to gradually dim the lights as you prepare for sleep until they’re completely off.






Forget the peephole, the DoorBot lets you not only see who is at your front door, but communicate with them as well. The $199.99 DoorBot is a WiFi-enabled video doorbell that interfaces with your smartphone or tablet to let you see and chat with your visitor, whether you’re in your living room or in another country. It even has night vision for around-the-clock coverage. The DoorBot can be integrated with Lockitron, allowing you to unlock your door remotely.
















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Home Automation Is The New Hardware Frontier

Home automation was once an obscure technology niche. Reserved for the homes of techies and the ultra-wealthy, automation was often portrayed in movies as a sinister way by which one could exert control. It had its functions, to be sure, but few people truly considered them or knew what they were.

Those days are now long past, as home automation now stands as the next frontier that large media companies seek to tackle. For example, Comcast, through its Xfinity brand, has recently announced automation packages that provide security, remote monitoring, and cloud-based data assessment in addition to the company’s standard television and cable offerings. Competitors such as AT&T are expected to take similar steps shortly.

Home automation allows services in a house to be connected and wirelessly controlled. For example, a family who has automated its home can view security footage while they are away, turn lights off remotely, manage appliance outlets with a single control, and even integrate its media center, alarm system, and thermostat into one console.

The amount of potential integration insures that companies from a wide range of industries – media, security, and energy, among others – are seeking to acquire market share in the field. And this sudden burst of competition has spurred a growing number of hardware innovations.

These new hardware products are numerous. We have seen energy monitoring systems that can hang on your living room wall, thermostats that look like tablets, and remote control devices that provide room-by-room breakdowns of a house. And now Vivint Security, one of the most well-established home automation companies, has now begun installing solar panel rooftop units that can coordinate with the thermostat and with the home’s central management system. Once focused purely on the security business, Vivint estimates that most of its installations this year will include additional features.
It is expected that most homes (over 60%) will have security and energy management systems by 2022. Whether that figure is hit or not, we can certainly expect a good number of software and hardware developments in the interim.

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