9 Seriously Genius Ways to Put Your House on Autopilot
Once upon a time, we brought you the ultimate guide to automating your home. But, the beauty of tech is that it just keeps getting better and the smart home trend is no exception. So consider this an update to our previous guide, with even more ways to make your life smarter and way more convenient. A lot of these were originally funded via Kickstarter or Indiegogo and are now available for purchase. Inventors and crowdfunders rule.
1. Sense+: Say goodbye to old school smoke alarms. This is a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector that also functions as an iPhone dock. You set up the app with your preferences and then plug it in to breathe easier. If it detects smoke or carbon monoxide, it sets off an alarm, alerts any contacts you put in your home group in the app, and contacts emergency services. I’m loving that you can alert your family members of an emergency AND get the fire department on the way, automatically!
3. Valta: We’re all trying to watch our energy use these days — not only does it help the environment, but it helps our wallets, too! That being said, I’m the first to admit being guilty of forgetting to shut off a device when we’re I’m using it. This system, which consists of an app, a hub, and special outlets, automatically detects and alerts you to unused devices. It can even tell whether you’re home or away, and you can set it up so your lights turn off when you leave the house and turn on when you come back… yes, automatically! This one is still waiting on Kickstarter funding, so if you’re interested, be sure to head over there and back the project.
4. Findables: Now, none of these home-controlled-by-your-smartphone gadgets are particularly helpful if you lose your smartphone, are they? This phone case has a QR Code that connects to a profile (you can set up 3!) so that any good Samaritan who finds your phone can get a hold of you. Gone are the days of freaking out when you leave your phone in a cab or at the club. Bonus: you can also connect your social profiles to “friend” people you meet with just a scan.
5. WiSee: Ever wanted to change the channel with a slight wave of your hand? A project out of the University of Washington called WiSee uses wifi signals to allow you to control gadgets based on gestures. When you make a specific movement, like swiping your arm to the right, the wifi signals are altered slightly. The smart receiver of WiSee can detect the pattern and determine what sort of movement you’re making — and then do something about it, like change the channel or turn on the coffee maker. We’re not exactly sure how this filters out all the incidental movements (and sporadic dance parties) you have throughout the day, but I’m sure they thought of that ;) Just imagine the possibilities here.
8. Xentry: Got an old smartphone hanging around? Don’t throw it out yet! This new system allows your old phone to get new life… as a doorman! It connects to your home wifi network and let’s you see video of who’s at the door while utilizing the audio functions of your phone to enable you to speak with them. So, now you can let that pesky UPS guy know to leave the package on the stoop or that it’ll be a second before you can get the door. I love that this reuses old tech instead of relying on a whole new product.
Hi, I'm Brit, the founder and CEO of Brit + Co. I'm a young mom of two, tech nerd and design-inclined lady who has a zillion hobbies and curious about... just about everything! My mission from the beginning has been to unlock women's creativity and courage to try new things so that they can find the path to their true passions.