There were a lot of smart home gadgets on the market in 2016—so many, in fact, that a lot of really cool gadgets got lost in the crowd. Now there are sure to be even more in 2017. Before that happens, check out this list I’ve compiled of my favorite gadgets. We’ll cover some of the usual suspects like smart plugs and lights, as well as a few interesting options I think will surprise you.
1. Amazon Echo (with Alexa). Amazon Alexa competes against Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit, among others. Alexa makes the cut because it already integrates with a number of smart home gadgets and promises to incorporate even more in 2017.
2. AmpliFi HD Router. You will want to check out router, particularly as mesh networks is set to be the name of the game in 2017. Mesh networks create better Wi-Fi (or BLE) coverage, as well as increase reliability, performance, connectivity, and security for all of your other smart home devices.
3. August Smart Lock. August competes with names like with Ring and SkyBell, but I picked this smart lock because it’s so simple to use and has a beautiful modern design. It turns your smartphone into a key you can use to lock and unlock doors. You can also see who’s at your door and let people into your house remotely with the August app.
4. BeOn Starter Pack. To get more out of your home security system, consider incorporating BeOn into it. BeOn’s bulbs adapt to your schedule so that it always looks like someone’s home. You can install the bulbs both indoors and outdoors.
5. ChefSteps Joule Souse Vide. The sous vide craze grew in 2016 and continues with this product. The Joule ensures precise cooking, and the smartphone app that controls it offers instructions for both beginners and more advanced chefs. The Joule is also one of the easiest and lightest precision cookers currently available.
6. Nest Thermostat. The third-generation Nest comes out ahead of competing smart thermostats because it “learns” your heating and cooling behavior and adjusts its settings accordingly.
I’ve only just started my countdown of the smart home gadgets you need to see to believe. Tomorrow, I’ll have 7 more great products for the home.
~ Alyse Ainsworth