From keeping you entertained when you come back from work to ensuring safety at home while you’re away on vacation, these technologies work around the clock to ensure you can have some worry-free time at home. With features that can be customised on a companion app to built-in voice assistants that double up as your ‘Man Friday’, these gadgets could end up making managing home a whole lot easier.
Home cameras add an extra layer of protection regardless of whether you live in an apartment or an independent house. These cams give you real-time updates of people, pets, and vehicles in and around your house. You can choose one that comes with in-built motion detection or one that simply records without the ability to pan sideways. Depending on where you want your cameras installed, you can choose one that needs to be plugged into a power outlet or one that can be operated wirelessly. If you live in an area that has extreme weather patterns, make sure your outdoor cam is reasonably resistant to rain, heat, snow, and dust. If you live in an apartment that already has CCTV cameras installed in the common areas, consider owning a doorbell camera that specifically lets you check who’s visiting. These typically have a built-in microphone and speaker so you can talk to whoever is on the other side of the door before letting them in. Another feature you might want to double-check before investing in home security is the availability of high-definition video footage, and night-vision. Invest in a mixed variety of home security cams if you want 360-degree surveillance, indoors and outdoors.
Some of the many options available are the Google Nest Cam, Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro, Qubo Smart Cam 360, and the Godrej Seethru series. The more affordable options might cost around ₹2,000 and the higher-end ones go up to almost ₹30,000 or more.
What a relief it would be to never have to sweep the house ever again. That’s the advantage of owning a smart vacuum cleaner. These little digital elves are designed to keep your home spic and span with minimal effort from your end. You can programme some of today’s vacuum cleaners to start dusting and mopping when you leave the house and wrap it up by the time you’re back. You can set rules for which rooms to clean, which to avoid, and when. With smart sensors, many of these automatically avoid sucking up electrical cords or solid waste and will make their way to the charging dock when low on battery. Some also have laser technology guiding them to make sure each nook and corner of your home is clean. The battery life, mop functionality, and compatibility with digital assistants like Alexa or Siri are some of the things you might want to confirm before making a purchase. Consider checking out the latest iRobot Roomba j7+ Robot, Realme TechLife Robot Vacuum, Philips SpeedPro Aqua Cordless Stick and the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Total Clean, among other options. Smart vacuums generally start at a price point of about ₹20,000 and some of the high-end ones easily cross the ₹1,00,000 mark.
Tech to entertain
Going beyond just entertainment, new-age smart speakers can be used to automate a lot of routines that you follow at home. Apart from the obvious function of playing music wirelessly through Bluetooth, these speakers can stream music online from platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music or Apple Music. You can easily “talk” to your speaker and give instructions such as “Switch off TV at 8 PM”, “Change to warm yellow light at 10 PM” or “Play Hip-Hop Favourites now”. If you pick one with a digital screen as well - like the Amazon Echo series - you have the added advantage of making video calls, watching media, and displaying family photographs digitally. Many of these speakers have multi-language support including regional Indian languages now. Some popular options to choose from are the Apple HomePod Mini, Sonos One speaker, the Amazon Echo Show series that come with an HD display, and the Lenovo Smart Clock. In general, smart speakers can cost you anywhere between ₹3,999 to ₹40,000 depending on the company and specs.
Let there be light
Life’s little comforts now include not having to drowsily get up from bed to switch off the lights before you fall asleep. And, smart lights are the tech that makes it possible. Generally connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and fully customisable through a companion app that you can access on your smartphone or tablet, these smart lights need no extra wiring or additional equipment to be set up. All of them let you tune into some mood lighting - be it a quiet, mellow night reading in bed or hosting a bunch of friends for a party! You can choose from endless colour options or use some pre-set themes available on the app. You can also automate the timer and schedule functions for the lights to turn on the moment you reach home from work or switch off when you go to bed at night. Companies such as Philips, Mi, Wipro, Syska and Panasonic have a range of LED smart colour bulbs to offer. Generally within the ₹1,000 - ₹2,000 range, these are easily the most affordable “smart” gadgets to have at home.