Remember when no one was sure if smart home systems would catch on or become a fading trend? Much has changed since then! Smart home and home automation features have moved from the wish list to the must-have list in short order. Most are easy to use and save us time, energy, and money, and make us feel safer and more secure in our homes.
But where to start? Home automation is about making life simpler. Bells and whistles are great but will go unused if they don’t make your home perform the way you want it to. Complex and hard-to-use systems without proper integration will cause frustration, collect dust, and waste time and money. When planning your home automation technology, begin with the end in mind. Think about how you want your home to feel and function now and three years from now. For some inspiration, we’ve put together some of our favorite and innovative smart home products from this year’s International Builders Show to make your home life safer, convenient, and more comfortable.
Our Favorite Connected Home Features
We’ve done some of the homework for you and gathered some of the most impressive smart home system and automation products currently on the market. From water leak detection to a voice-controlled refrigerator, here are our favorite connected tech products for the home this year.
Sense Home Monitoring
Ever wonder how much energy the devices and products in your home consume? Sense home monitoring uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to identify and measure energy use throughout your entire home. Installed on your home’s electrical panel, the Sense monitor’s behind-the-drywall analysis establishes a baseline unique to your home and sends alerts of suspicious activity to your smartphone to prevent catastrophic malfunctions or disasters.
StreamLabs Water Detection
It’s safe to assume we all want to prevent water damage in the home as much as possible. StreamLabs makes it possible to do that and more. Its monitoring system communicates your home’s water usage via a convenient app, helps you conserve water, and sends customized alerts upon detecting a leaky pipe or faucet, appliance malfunction, freezing pipe conditions, and a running toilet. Install the system with a StreamLabs Control smart water shut-off valve to stop the leak immediately from your phone or device.
LG Signature InstaView Refrigerator
The kitchen’s already the hub of the home, but with LG’s InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, it’s now command central. Its voice-control feature opens the door, creates shopping lists, and other simple commands. Each door opens to separate compartments to conserve energy. A quick tap of the sleek LCD screen turns on an interior light to see contents, and cool ThinQ technology ‘learns’ your family’s usage habits and tailors functionality to complement them.
Moen Connected Water System
This smart water ecosystem only works optimally among the Moen product family, but oh what a system it is! Control water flow in kitchen and bathroom faucets through your voice, a wave of the hand, or through the Moen app on your smartphone. Call up water in the kitchen at precise temperatures and volumes depending on your needs, and enjoy the perfect shower every time with voice-activated preferences and app presets. Similar to Sense, the award-winning Moen network allows you to monitor water usage and detects leaks and moisture, all through the tap of your phone.
Vivint Home Security and Anti-Theft Management
If you’re looking for a one-stop home security and monitoring solution, this is it. Vivint’s fully integrated system will have you managing nearly all aspects of your home in one well-designed and comprehensive mobile app. Access smart home devices and home security in a single easy-to-use interface. Seamlessly add voice and climate control, lighting, two-way audio, keyless doors, garage entry, and video footage to its network. Vivint’s open system works equally well with both Google and Amazon digital assistive technologies and syncs with Google Nest smart thermostats.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
Samsung’s SmartThings hub system is good for nearly all things. Similar to Vivint above, the SmartThings network wirelessly connects a host of your home’s devices. And because it’s Samsung, that includes your TV, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. Climate and security integration includes smart locks, thermostats, lighting, and air conditioning at the touch or swipe in its user-friendly app.
Hydraloop Water Recycling
Clean, recycle and reuse your household’s wastewater using Hydraloop’s innovative home system. Reclaimed water conserves local drinking water supply and helps reduce environmental contaminants. Hydraloop technology collects, cleans, and disinfects water from showers, baths, appliances, and sinks for future household use in toilets, lawns, gardens, and pools. With the potential to recycle up to 85% of a home’s water consumption, the start-up took home Best of Innovation at CES 2020 in the sustainability, eco-design, and smart energy category.
Well-selected smart home features offer peace of mind, protect your new home investment, and can enhance your lifestyle. We’re especially excited to see more attainable, easy to install technologies that help homeowners save energy, prevent water damage, and even recycle household wastewater. While building a new home or remodeling your current home is always an ideal time to consider incorporating new smart home systems, most of the systems mentioned here can be implemented at any time depending on your needs, preferences and budget.