New Home Gadgets – A new home presents new opportunities, and an old home can always be reinvented. Today, some of the most exciting trends in home design and technology are happening in connectivity, in the way we connect with our homes and the devices within it. These trends in new home gadgets for 2014 include connected light bulbs, door locks and thermostats, plus advanced vacuum technology for keeping your pride and joy clean and presentable. Enjoy the list, here’s to finding some inspiration to celebrate your new home or reinvent the old.
1. August Smart Lock
As a technology, the lock and key has changed little over the years. It hasn’t needed to– it’s simple, safe and effective. That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon, and the people at August Smart Lock have created a pretty amazing system for keeping your house safe and accessible to those you trust.
August Smart Lock uses a battery-powered interior lock mechanism that connects to your wireless network for remote access and usage info. It connects to standard deadbolt systems, meaning your current set of keys will work with it and it appears like a normal lock from the street. Despite the key slot, you won’t need your keys when using August.
This system recognizes your smartphone when you approach and unlocks your door automatically. You can send access invites to friends, contractors, dog walkers and more so they can enter your home using their smartphones. Finally, anyone who enters or exits your home will be logged by August, so you know when the contractor is done for the day and the dog walker has returned your pooch to his perch. It’s a pretty amazing little revolution in home security, and it’s available for pre-order for $199.
2. Windowfarms Indoor Garden
Not every house has the yard space for a garden. Fewer still have the weather to raise plants year-round. With the Windowfarms hydroponic garden, a sunny window can be the perfect garden plot, a chance to raise healthy herbs, greens and veggies indoors.
Windowfarms use hydroponic and vertical growing technologies to raise full, fast-growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution. A reservoir at the base pumps this nutrient solution to a series of hanging planters that allows the solution to filter through from one plant to the next.
The result is an autonomous garden system that uses science to produce greens without taking up space. Windowfarms start at $199 for a single-column kit, including plant food and seedlings for a quick start to your futuristic indoor garden.
3. Dyson DC65 Upright Vacuum
Like the proud owner of a classic car, a new homeowner doesn’t lovingly scrub their new digs because they love to clean. You clean because you’re proud of your new home, the accomplishment behind it and the way it looks to your friends and family alike.
With that, a good vacuum isn’t just the mark of a clean, contemporary home, it’s a rite of passage into home ownership. From a tech and design angle, the vacuum of our choice is the Dyson DC65 Upright Vacuum. It has been tested against the current market of upright vacuums on both carpet and hardwood, and it came out on top of all the rest.
It’s powerful, flexible, easy to empty and loaded with specialty tools for tough cleaning situations. It’s also a great achievement in design, a striking bit of “functional sculpture” that isn’t an eyesore when left out– it’s a conversation starter.
4. Tetra Shed Prefab Office
If you wanted a fort as a kid, chances are you’ve dreamed of an outdoor creative office for yourself. I know I have. If you have the space in your yard, and maybe a lack of space indoors, a shed office could be a great solution. When it comes to shed working, few outdoor workspaces are as cool as the Tetra Shed.
This prefab office space is built in a bold geometric pattern with windows and doors that close to hide the space within. When fully closed, Tetra Shed looks like an obelisk from outer space — a feature that only adds to its dreamlike appeal. Tetra Shed is designed to provide an enclosed workspace for one person in a back yard or even the deep woods.
If you build one in your back yard, you’ll discover just how important that little bit of space is between work and home. I first covered the Tetra Shed back in 2011, and I’m happy to report that it is now available for shed working dreamers.
5. Nest Protect Smoke Detector
The traditional smoke detector is a great example of technology gone wrong. In most environments, smoke detectors are an annoyance– they only go off when they’re low on battery or there’s a little flare up in the kitchen.
These false positives tend to ruin the smoke detector’s utility. To change that, the people at Nest created the Nest Protect, a smart smoke detector that monitors smoke and other harmful gasses and provides clear, spoken alerts and a message to your mobile device.
If there’s a hazard in the house, Nest Protect will alert you of its presence whether you’re at home or far away. It helps keep you and your family safe, and it does so without the annoying late night battery-beeps and alarming false positives.