Smart home gift ideas aren’t just for the techies on your list anymore. Cool tech gifts are going mainstream, appealing to anyone who cares about safety and security, convenience, or entertainment. Our list of tech holiday gifts has something for them all.
These smart home gift ideas range from robots to automation solutions and remote sensors that solve real problems, offer comfort, save effort and are just plain fun.
Smart assistants or smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, are voice-directed smart devices that connect to the internet. People love this cool tech gift for the convenience. Ask questions, get advice, get help shopping, communicate with others and use them to control other devices and systems. Whether selecting and playing music or adjusting blinds, smart assistants are here to serve. Connecting various systems — like HVAC, lights and appliances — to these devices can optimize their operation to conserve energy.
Smart hubs are at the center of home automation. These smart home gift ideas connect “internet of things” devices and service providers, controlling them with a single app so that they all work together with less complication. Constellation Connect is a smart home hub that works with hundreds of devices to protect your home and save energy.
While considering smart home gift ideas, don’t forget the gift of security. Motion sensors, open-window and open-door detectors, and devices that can identify and warn of broken glass can now connect with smart home hubs, voice assistants and even mobile devices. Blaring sirens and direct notification to police have long been available. Smart home sensors and app systems now give consumers a direct view into what’s happening to their home in real time.
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Among the best tech gifts this season are smart security cameras. Along with watching and recording, most models have a two-way talk feature as well. Security is the main benefit, but these devices are also helpful as baby and pet monitors or for keeping an eye on aging parents. Smart security cameras have wired and wireless options, are easy enough to install without professional help and can be connected through digital assistants and mobile devices.
One of the best tech gifts is a smart TV. Internet-enabled with built-in storage, these televisions stream content, run downloaded apps, work seamlessly with game consoles and connect to computers, mobile devices and voice assistants. Because they’re connected to the internet, they can be controlled remotely via a voice assistant or mobile device. Smart TVs are so popular that old-fashioned televisions are becoming hard to find.
Streaming media adapters like Roku, Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast have been considered cool tech gifts for a decade, as these devices turn any TV into a smart TV. Nowadays, they do more than that. They can support iOS, Android and Windows operating systems, turning your television into a computer or cell phone screen.
Smart lights are sources of illumination that connect into smart home hubs. Because they’re connected, they can be remotely controlled and programmed to turn on just before your gift recipient arrives home, to stay on while they’re out of town to give their home a lived-in look, and to change color and intensity. The smart hub connected to smart lights and sensors can analyze need and usage patterns to control the lights and optimize energy efficiency. That’s a gift everyone can love.
Smart plugs are a newer smart home gift idea. They can turn anything that plugs into the wall into a smart device. Grandma’s old lamp, an antique radio or a blender from college can be controlled by voice assistants and smart hubs if they’re connected to a smart plug. These make cool tech gifts because they are relatively inexpensive and so flexible. Upgrading nearly any electrical thing into a smart device is now easy.
Smart thermostats are one of the best tech gifts because of their ability to save energy. They can enhance the comfort of home while also reducing energy usage, as heating and cooling represent an outsize percentage of the average person’s energy consumption. Remote control of your HVAC system is convenient, and programming a smart thermostat to kick on the heat or air conditioning when people are home and to lower it when they’re not can significantly improve energy efficiency.
Keeping loved ones safe is a gift idea with a lot of heart. Smart doorbells are equipped with tiny cameras and the same technology that cell phones use. They capture video of who is at the door and then send it to any connected device, like your gift recipient’s phone, so they can see who’s at the door even when they’re away. And if they want to know when a package was delivered or when their child got home from school, they just need to look back at the footage.
A smart lock is a device with software that lets you open and close a door lock with your voice, by touching a control pad or by waving a cell phone in front of its sensor. If you have someone on your list who’s prone to losing keys, this gift is perfect. They can give and take away “virtual keys” to kids or trusted neighbors and friends. The app with the smart lock tells them who’s coming and going, keeping a record of which “key” was used when. They can also open the lock remotely if they want to let someone in.
If you have a foodie on your list, one of these cool tech gifts is just the thing. Smart kitchen gadgets include slow cookers that can be turned on and off remotely, coffee makers that brew on command or on a schedule, and gadgets that connect to major appliances to monitor energy use and control when they run to optimize energy use. We have a good list of the coolest new smart kitchen gadgets here.
Give the gift of convenience with a robot vacuum. Who has time to clean — and who needs to with one of the nifty new robot vacuum models that can be programmed when and where to run? These vacuums navigate in and around furniture, sucking dirt from hard-to-reach places, and removing dust that can contaminate indoor air and clog appliance and HVAC filters. You eliminate a major chore for your loved one while giving them a cleaner house.
For the health-conscious on your list, consider a smart scale. This device will help them do more than track their weight. It tracks muscle mass, body fat percentage and water weight. What makes these kinds of devices exceptional is that they connect to fitness apps to track progress against diet and exercise. Some devices connect to health monitors and heart rate monitors too.
If you love an animal lover, you have a choice of cool tech gifts for pets to choose from. Automatic feeders, treat dispensers and fresh water on command ensure that their pets are cared for when they’re not around. Self-cleaning litter boxes remove an unpleasant chore from their days. Smart collars help keep pets safe from being lost or stolen. And pet monitors can keep tabs on animals when your gift recipient is away.
No longer for geeks and futurists, smart home gift ideas are advanced tech products that have truly gone mainstream. They make life easier and more convenient, and can enhance health, safety and security. Some are just for fun, but many offer people the ability to optimize energy use — and that’s a gift that lasts the whole year.
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