If you remember Star Trek or The Jetson's automated home full of gadgets, adding the real thing to our homes has a bit of entertainment value along with innovation.
Sci-Fi references aside, researching and purchasing smart home solutions for your home is a serious matter.
The smart home is constantly changing, and any one system must be compatible with several others to be useful to consumers.
The following are 5 of the top smart home solutions for 2017.
The Echo is considered this year's best smart home centerpiece. It is a voice-controlled, central control point for your smart home gadgets.
This voice-activated smart home speaker is futuristic but also practical. Its list of features keeps growing, and it integrates with many other smart home devices.
If you're looking for a central control point for your smart home gadgets, Amazon's Echo, with its pleasant virtual assistant, Alexa, is a sure bet.
Lifx is brighter than its competitor, the Philips Hue. It's more efficient and puts out more accurate colors.
It has a better app and is compatible with IFTTT (a free web-based service that works with Google, Facebook, etc.) and the Amazon Echo smart speaker, among other devices.
Lifx bulbs communicate through Wi-Fi, which means that they don't need a hub or a separate starter kit to work.
The Ecobee4 has a responsive display, a remote sensor, and tons of smart integrations, including a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker. Because it is an Amazon speaker and thermostat in one, its features are hard to beat.
The Ecobee4 also has a responsive touchscreen display and a remote temperature and proximity sensor. It integrates with integrations with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.
August's Smart Lock adds smart technology to the deadbolt you already have. It has a simple interface that integrates with HomeKit, an Apple app that turns your iPhone into a remote for your smart home solutions.
This Smart Lock is reliable, and the app is easy to use. It is compatible with Nest, Logitech Harmony, Comcast's Xfinity Home, and Siri.
But even if you aren't an iPhone user, this HomeKit-enabled Smart Lock works well with the other systems mentioned.
The Tado is a smart controller for your air conditioner. It turns your air conditioner into a smart device by acting as an external hub.
Place the hub next to your window AC unit. It uses infrared commands to stand in for the machine's remote control. You can control your air conditioner from your smartphone.
The Tado is compatible with most air conditioners. You can set it to adjust the temperature automatically and optimize energy use, which saves money on your electric bill.
All of these smart homes solutions are available on Amazon, where you can price compare and read reviews.
Most smart systems are built with compatibility in mind. But it is still wise to research the integration capability they have with your existing smart systems.
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