Amazon has already effectively taken over the online shopping niche - and is now rapidly taking over the smart home market. At the head of this expansion is the company's voice assistant, Alexa.
She made her debut in the cute Echo column. She not only shot, but “blew up” the market - it took off to the top of sales in the USA, received flattering reviews from the specialized press, and for many Americans has already become an integral part of life. The reason is simple - Alexa is not only able to do the same things that Siri in the iPhone, but also represents a single control center for all smart devices in the house. By connecting supported gadgets to the Echo, you can expand Alexa's functionality: ask her to turn the lights on and off, change the room temperature, open or block the front door - all with a voice, without the need to constantly resort to remotes or third-party applications. If you're looking for a hub, the foundation for your future home system, the Echo is your best bet today.
However, the column is good in and of itself: it knows how to stream music from the network, tell you how to cook a particular dish, share information you are interested in about sports events or what is happening in the world.
There is only one significant drawback - she cannot speak Russian. And he is unlikely to learn soon.
While the Amazon Echo is mainly for building relatively inexpensive home smart systems, Bang & Olufsen's Danish Beolink is the most premium.
Firstly, all devices of the company can be networked by default: you can not only synchronize music playback on all speakers in the house, but also continue watching a movie on TV from the same place on another TV in another room. Secondly, it is possible to integrate products from other companies into the system - but control them at the same time using the same Bang & Olufsen app. It is convenient: you do not need to go into a separate program to close the door, send a signal to the coffee maker to make coffee or see who rings the doorbell. A huge variety of devices are supported.
Smart Remote, Sevenhugs
One aspect where smart systems aren't all that smart is management. Often, to control devices from different manufacturers, you will have to "jump" from application to application in your smartphone, alternately controlling the gadgets.
The Sevenhugs remote works differently: you just point it at the device and press the desired button. Turn down the volume on the column, turn down the temperature on the thermostat, aim the remote control at the light bulb - turn off the light, and so on.
In order for Smart Remote to track your position in the room and understand exactly where you are directing it, you need to place special sensors around the perimeter of the room. Otherwise, no magic.
The remote control has not yet entered the public sale, but you can leave a pre-order on the official website. Cost - $ 229.
Serena Remote Controlled Shades, Lutron
To get a good night's sleep, it is advisable to sleep in complete darkness, so curtains or blinds are a must for anyone who has trouble sleeping. In the latter case, you can even take a closer look at the "smart" option - Lutron Serena.
The blinds are, of course, controlled via the smartphone app - but that's not all. For example, you can create a schedule according to which they will automatically open and close - an indispensable feature for those who enjoy falling asleep under the TV and do not like getting ready for bed. In addition, support for Siri is announced - you can even not take a smartphone in your hands. Confused except that the price - $ 419 for a useful, but technically not the most "fancy" product.
August smart lock
August Smart Lock is a regular smart lock, but with a few useful features. First, it's easy to install - you don't need to call the wizard. Secondly, it is compatible with the Home Kit, Apple, and therefore supports voice control via Siri - just give a command and the door will open. Thirdly, there is a so-called "guest book". You can add another person to a special list and give him access to the castle - permanent or temporary. No more awkward "I have no keys" situations. Cost - $ 193.
The Nest Cam Outdoor, Nest
Nest are some of the leaders in smart electronics, and Nest Cam is another great product in their portfolio. This security camera can satisfy even the paranoid. There is a motion detector (the camera automatically turns on the recording when someone passes by), and infrared LEDs for night shooting, and the ability to watch in real time what is happening outside, and a built-in microphone with a speaker for remote communication, and even digital zoom.
The body of the camera is waterproof, so it is not afraid of rain. She writes videos in Full HD resolution. The device connects to a smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and it can be integrated into almost any smart system.
Lifx Color 1000, Lifx
When it comes to smart bulbs, everyone usually thinks of the Philips Hue, the most popular model on the market. However, there are even more interesting options, for example, Lifx Color 1000.
It works on the same principle - using your smartphone, you can adjust the lighting and change its color. However, there are some differences. Firstly, the Lifx Color 1000 connects to your device via Wi-Fi, so they don't need a hub (which costs a lot of money): you buy it and you can use it.
Secondly, the bulbs can be controlled through the same "Alex" in Amazon Echo. And thirdly, they are simply significantly brighter than the same Philips Hue, but they are cheaper. Only Lifx Color bulbs are incompatible with HomeKit, Apple - you cannot command them through Siri.>