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The Internet of Things (IoT) can make our lives much easier – streamlining simple tasks and removing the human element from a lot of day-to-day chores.
Unfortunately, it can also be expensive to get a smart home up and running. You might find that you buy one gadget, but you need another add-on to make it fully functional. It’s draining on both your brain and your wallet.
With that in mind, why not treat the smart home geek in your life to an awesome IoT-based gift this year? Get them something that’ll give them all the functionality they need in one simple purchase.
Here’s our list of tips and recommendations:
For those of you who don’t know, at its core the Philips Hue system is a wireless lighting system.
In practice, it does a whole lot more.
- Can be controlled by your smartphone from anywhere in the world
- Has programmable schedules
- Can be coordinated with your alarm clock to provide natural light when you wake up
- Can be synchronized with your music on your Hi-Fi or movies on your TV
- Even works in conjunction with IFTTT
It has also just started to integrate with Apple’s HomeKit – a big leap forward.
The starter pack is the perfect way for someone to try Philips Hue without hassle and without spending a fortune.
It includes three smart lightbulbs and the central hub that “speaks” to the individual bulbs.
Of course, you can add more equipment yourself at a later date.
The weather seems to be getting more unpredictable by the day, so a smart weather station might be an highly useful (if somewhat unusual) Internet of Things product in which to invest.
The $160 package offers users everything they need to start monitoring all aspects of the climate; the ObserverIP module plugs directly into your router, the Thermo-hydro-barometer measures indoor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, and the main weather station unit goes outside.
Measurable metrics include:
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- UV and solar radiation
Users can also publish all the results directly to the popular smartphone weather app, Wunderground.
WeMo products are popular, due to the fact that users can control all of their home electronics from anywhere.
This means you can do things like turn the lights on/off when you’re away, make sure you’ve not left the iron turned on if you think you’ve forgotten, or make the kettle boil five minutes before you get home.
Available products include electrical plugs and switches, motion sensors, insight switches, light switches, cameras, and a smartphone app.
All the products work with IFTTT, integrate with email and SMS, and will work with your existing home router.
This introductory pack, available on Amazon for $122, includes two switches and motion sensor – perfect for giving someone a taste of what the system is capable of.
The Samsung SmartThings system is home monitoring product that uses a combination of plugs, lights, and sensors to give you more control over your home.
Its features include:
- Automatically changing the color of your internal lights based on the weather outside
- Motion sensors around the home that can alert you to potential intruders
- Water sensors that you can place under sinks to inform you about leaks
- Customized audio messages for members of your household to hear when they get home
Really, the possibilities are almost endless.
The Home Monitoring Kit, despite costing $249, is actually really good value.
It includes everything you need to get going, including the hub, a power outlet, a motion sensor, and two multi-purposes sensors.
It’s easy to set up, and will give the geek in your life hours of tinkering fun.
It would be great if we lived in a world where we didn’t need door locks, alarm systems, and security cameras. In fact, my grandparents still regale people with stories about how the only time they’d ever lock their front door was when they went on holiday!
Sadly, those days are long gone – in the 21st century we all need to be security-conscious when we are in our own homes, and one of the best measures you can take is to install security cameras.
One of the best smart systems currently available is the one manufactured by Arlo.
It comes with HD cameras that’ll let you watch live streamed or recorded videos from your computer or via the app, the cameras have night vision, and you can get motion-activated alerts.
This bundle, although expensive, comes with four cameras and a base station, giving you everything you need to get started and providing a great foundation to add more cameras to later.
A perfect complement to the aforementioned Arlo camera system is the iSmartAlarm Home Security System.
It was originally funded by an Indiegogo campaign, but has now become hugely popular.
It is a self-monitored, self-controlled smart alarm system which can be armed and disarmed via your smartphone app. It will tell you who is at home or alert you if it suspects authorized activity, and you can even expand the system yourself with a large number of available sensors.
This package comes with a CubeOne hub, two window/door sensors, a motion sensor, two remote tags, and two sensor stickers.
Which Present Would You Buy?
What is the best all-in-one present on our list? Which would you recommend as the perfect gift for a budding IoT enthusiast?
We’d love to hear from you. You can leave us you thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.
Image Credits:opening his presents by LoloStock via Shutterstock