Posted by:Nithin Rao September 19th, 2014

[The Friday Find - A new series that covers fascinating innovations and amazing creations in the world of Mobile business and technology

All of us have experienced this at one time or the other. Driving away from home, you just get on the freeway and a few miles into it; a tiny doubt creeps in your mind. Did I turn off the oven? What about setting the security alarm?  As you try to convince yourself that it’s but force of habit and you would have, you still can’t shake off the nagging doubt.

Well, worry not! Now, your smartphone or tablet has you covered. Now connected home appliances and devices can communicate among themselves and with your smartphone. With Internet-of-Things, sensors embedded in everyday physical objects can enable these objects to communicate intelligently. Yes, your home can be way smarter and cooler than the Jetsons’ futuristic home.

What are some of the hot new trends in smart homes? From your garden to the kitchen to your family room, here are some cool smart home products

SkyBell Wi-Fi Doorbell

SkyBell is a Wi-Fi video doorbell that let’s you see, hear and speak with visitors to your home from your iOS or Android smartphone. SkyBell features a day and night vision camera in addition to a speaker, microphone and motion sensor. It connects with your home’s WiFi and alerts you when someone rings your doorbell. So, be it the UPS guy or pesky next-door neighbor, you get to answer your doorbell from wherever you are.


August Smart Lock

This smart lock lets you unlock your front door electronically. It has a Bluetooth low energy enabled locking mechanism that allows you to send a virtual key to anyone you choose to. Be it the babysitter or house guest or cleaning lady, August Smart Lock relies on technology to give only select people access to your house. You can even set it for a set period of time. As it uses standard batteries, this will work even where there is no electricity. Sensor Indicators and emails alert you to battery replacements. Added to this is a virtual guest book for you to write thank you notes and instructions. Extremely simple installation and an accompanying intuitive mobile app makes this a breeze to use.


Nest Learning Thermostat

Google made news earlier this year when it famously purchased Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. The Nest Learning Thermostat learns your heating and cooling preferences over time. By turning it up and down for a few days, the smart product builds a customized schedule tailored to how your home works. Within a week, it will start setting temperatures on its own. The mobile app lets you control and monitor it from where you are.

Nest also acquired Dropcam, the wireless video monitoring and security company in June. Dropcam now works with the Nest Thermostat and provides different levels of feedback according to settings.


Rachio Smart Sprinkler

This smart sprinkler works in the background and maintains your watering schedule for you. By automatically adjusting for changes in weather and seasons, it conserves water while ensuring your lawns look their best.  With auto-scheduling and detailed reports, you can now use your mobile app to control the sprinkler system from anywhere.


Alba Responsive Lightbulbs

Billed as the world’s first responsive light bulb, the Alba comes equipped with embedded sensors. With light and motion sensors, this bulb will adjust lighting levels and learn from the residents. From syncing with your alarm to gently wake you to family and dinner- time lighting, the bulb does the work and does not need you to fiddle with any app, for the most part. So, be it improving sleep patterns or reducing energy costs, there is a bulb for that .


The Drop Kitchen Scale

A smart scale, Drop works via a custom iPad app and literally helps users cook. Using a selection of recipes, Drop is smart enough to detect when enough ingredients have been added and the app automatically moves to the next step. And with all those sticky fingers, you can use the button on the scale instead of messing the iPad screen. Drop also knows if the user has made a particular meal before and can pitch in with friendly reminders.


This is just a preview of the smart homes of tomorrow. As technology gets more advanced, bragging right of such futuristic connected homes will no longer be reserved for just the rich and famous. Instead, this will be a reality for all. Welcome home !

Do you have any exciting products to add to the list? We would love to hear from you !

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