5 Cool Tech Gadgets for the Home

The holiday season is quickly approaching! If any of you are like me, you may be scrambling for some last minute gift ideas. Here are some cool tech gadget gift ideas for the home that I think are pretty neat!

1. Nest

Nest is the next generation in thermostats. This product is perfect for people who are eco-conscious. It learns your schedule and programs itself in a way which helps preserve energy. Activity sensors are used to activate the Auto Away feature, which ensures that your household is at an energy efficient temperature while you’re gone. Done correctly, Nest can lower your energy consumption by 20%!

To illustrate how advanced this thermostat is, during your first week, Nest will learn your heating and cooling habits. But, if you need to make one-off changes, you can also do so using their robust online app. The Nest is tiny (only 3.2 inches in diameter), but it’s loaded with a slew of features including a wifi radio, three temperature sensors, and even a humidity sensor. Best of all, you can control all of this using your smart phone.

Cost: $249 USD

Purchase at http://store.nest.com

2. Sonos Wireless

Sonos is definitely a product that is revolutionizing how we listen to music and is one of my personal favourites. I use this product at home and love it! It is a wireless multi-room music system that allows you to stream music from online sources and the music will play from different devices connected onto its network. You can either play different music in different rooms, or play the same music throughout your home. A base station is connected to your home network so that you can even access your library when your devices are shut-off. Whether you’re streaming your favourite song from Rdio or your iPhone, you can play it wirelessly in whichever room you’re in. All of this can be controlled on Sono’s smart phone application which makes it even easier to just sit back, relax and enjoy the music.

Cost: Variety of different products ranging from $59 – $749

Purchase at http://www.sonos.com/shop/

3. WeMo

WeMo is one of the coolest gadgets out there in the market right now because you can control essentially any plug-in product right on your mobile phone. WeMo has two main products: WeMo Switch and WeMo Motion. Buy the Switch product alone and you can control any product that is connected to it on your smart phone. Want to make your coffee from your bed? No problem. You can use the WeMo Motion to control the product when the motion sensor is activated. This is specifically handy when it comes to lighting. Already snuggled into bed but forgot to turn off the lights? Yup, WeMo to the rescue.

Cost: WeMo Switch – $49.95; WeMo Switch + Motion – $99.95

Purchase at Apple Store – Belkin WeMo

4. Samsung WF457 Washer and Dryer

The reason why I love this product is because it helps improve what I hate most about doing laundry – timing my wash perfectly so that I can throw it in the dryer. This Samsung Front Loading Washer is a game changer for the laundry experience as it connects wirelessly to your smart phone to tell you how much time you have left on your load and what part of the cycle it’s at. You can even schedule a wash so that it starts at a more cost-efficient time (no more needing wait until the weekend to do laundry). Just set it and forget it!

If you’re not sold on that, then how about the fact that the washer-dryer set is also highly energy efficient (using only 96 kWh per year) and uses less water than most other sets out there too!

Cost: MSRP Washer $2,149.99, Dryer – $1,749.00

Purchase at your local Samsung retailer or <http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/home-appliances/washers-dryers/washers/WF457ARGSGR/AA-buyonline>online

5. Rogers Home Monitoring

This last holiday gift idea is for the security cautious techie! The Rogers Home Monitoring system is superior than traditional systems because it allows you to have full control on its tablet product as well as on your smart phone. Arm and disarm your alarm even when you are away from home. You can even keep track of what’s happening at home! Notifications can be set when the door opens (or does not open) between a certain time, perfect for parents who want to keep track of their children. What’s even cooler is that if the door does opens, a photograph can be taken of whoever enters. Need more convincing? Their online application has additional features to control your lights and even monitor the carbon monoxide levels right from the palm of your hand. Pretty neat from the same company as your wireless provider!

Cost: Starting at $19.99/month + installation

Purchase at Rogers.com

What are some of your favourite gadgets for the home?

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

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