Over the past 5-10 years the word ‘smart’ has been attached to a different number of technologies. ‘Smart’ has become a buzzword attached to products in order to drive sales now it’s hard to know which smart devices are actually worth investing in.
However, fear not as we’ve compiled a list of affordable gadgets to make your house truly smarter.
You may have heard of this one as it’s quite popular. The Home Mini is a smart speaker that comes with a digital assistant. This allows you to set reminders, check the weather, listen to music, check trafﬁc updates and even get the latest news. The great thing about this speaker is its voice controlled so all you have to do is tell the speaker what to do and it will.
A simple ‘Hey Google, I’ve got a meeting with Paul at 2 on Friday’ will prompt the Home Mini to add that event in your calendar and it eventually pops up as a reminder later that week. How convenient is that?
Since it’s a speaker you can also listen to audio books, music and if its connected to your smart tv then you can look for movies to watch using the device. ALL WITH YOUR VOICE. Buttons are a thing of the past with the Google Home Mini.
The digital assistant can also be used by multiple users in one home and it correctly updates each person’s events without mistaking the user for someone else.
The Home Mini is quite small and it also has a great design that ensures it won’t look out of place in most furniture setups.
All this futuristic-goodness will set you back $39. The Google Home Mini is not for sale in Zimbabwe but if you have relatives outside the country I’m sure they wouldn’t mind bringing this for you since it’s so tiny.
The iGrill Mini is for anyone who has a hard time making sure their steak is perfectly cooked. This small device has a probe that you insert inside whatever you are grilling and when it’s reached the optimum cooking point the iGrill Mini sends you a notiﬁcation on your phone. No more burnt offerings at supper! Seems like a pretty smart device to me. This handy device will set you back around $40 on Amazon. It works on both Android and iOS so you don’t have to worry about compatibility getting in the way of grilling tendencies.
It’s been an extremely cold winter and when it started getting chilly if you had a device such as Xiaomi Miija Bluetooth Temperature Humidity Sensor –quite the mouthful- you probably would have bought a heater before everyone at home caught a cold.
With this temperature sensor you can monitor temperature and humidity in your house in real time. The device’s readings are refreshed every second which means you will be getting up to the second temperature readings here. With a sensitivity of up to 0.1°C and 0.1% there will be no more guesses.
When there are abnormal shifts in temperature you will be notiﬁed and if there’s something wrong you can take action quicker than you would if necessary.
This little handy device comes at a cost of $23.99 on AliExpress (which ships to Zim). Not a bad deal if you ask me.
Misplacing valuable items such as your keys, purse or wallet in the house is always irritating. Sometimes these minor mistakes can cost your hours but in a smart home this can be a thing of the past.
The tile sport is a small and waterproof device that you can put in your wallet, purse or key holder and pretty much anything since it has a built-in keyhole. The tiny tile makes sure you never misplace these items. As long as it’s within a 200-feet range, the Tile will begin to emit a loud sound. If not, the app will show you where the item was left behind. And if you ever misplace your phone, just double tap the centre Tile logo to automatically have the handset make an audible noise, even if it is set to silent.
These low cost devices are a great way to assess whether a smarter home is appealing to you and if you’re convinced there’s a lot more devices that you can look to if your goal is to make your home smarter. Think of this as a simple taster of how smart your home can be.