We are used to our computers (PC, laptops, etc.) and smartphones can connect to the Internet and ease our lives. And just imagine that almost all the devices like refrigerators, water heaters, doorbells, lights, clocks, speakers, cameras, and other things around you have such an ability as well.
What’s more, they can even connect with each other as well as send you information, take your commands. It’s not science fiction anymore but realness named smart home and Internet of Things (IoT). In this article, we’re going to observe the 5 best smart home devices and 5 best systems that you would pay attention to in 2021 in case you wish to make your home smart and comfortable.
What Is A Difference Between Smart Devices and Smart Systems?
Let’s start with the definition of a smart system. So, it’s an overarching command center that processes your requests and controls individual products. Thus, it’s what you speak to (Alexa/Assistant/Siri). A smart device is an individual product that actually performs this or that task to enhance your life and reports back to the system.
5 Best Smart Home Systems
The variety of smart devices is vast. So is the choice of smart home systems. It’s no surprise because these technologies are on fire. It’s predicted that the size of the global smart home market will reach $53.45 billion by 2022. Thus, the number of systems and devices will grow rapidly.
That’s why it can be a challenge to make the right home system so that it is compatible with all the smart devices you have already got and can get them working smoothly. What’s more, the system is to be easy to work with so that non-engineers could manage it with minimum efforts required.
For example, let’s take Crello — the service with tons of tools for creating visuals for any purpose. The highlight of the service is that even non-designers can design a poster, create an infographic, business card, flyer, or anything else, and the difficulty level doesn’t matter. In a similar vein, a smart home system should help you to control smart products without a need for specific knowledge or skills. Below we listed the best smart ecosystems that support third-party integrations and are easy-to-use.
1. Amazon Alexa
This is a comprehensive ecosystem available on the market. It’s compatible with a ton of smart devices and makes it easy to access, manage, and control every aspect of the smart home. Thus, it allows uniting and integrating smart products from different brands, including but not limited to Samsung, Philips, Nest, Schlage. Another strong feature of the smart system is that it can be used to speak to apps, for example, Spotify and others.
2. Google Assistant
This smart home system is close on the heels of Alexa not by accident. Though the platform supports fewer third-party integrations than Alexa, it’s the smartest system. According to the recent data, when it comes to answering questions, the accuracy score of Google Assistant is as high as 92.9% while Amazon Alexa scores at 79.8% only. The key feature of the system is that it better understands how people naturally speak which is ultimate for speakers, for example. Assistant supports devices by Sony, Lenovo, Sonos, Panasonic, JBL, LG, and many more.
3. Wink Hub
What should you know about the system is that Wink doesn’t have any brand loyalty. Yes, you’re free to choose different smart devices by any brand and merge them faultlessly with one another. What’s more, besides common Wi-Fi, Wink Hub 2 supports such protocols as Kidde, Z-Wave, Bluetooth LE, and many more. You can get full control and manage the smart products via your phone/tablet staying on the move by downloading the Wink Hub app.
4. Samsung SmartThings Hub
It’s an intriguing little platform that has radios for both the Z-Wave and Zigbee standards. It unites a wide range of smart products from different brands. Users can get full access to the connected devices and control them via the SmartThings iOS/Android app. What’s more, Alexa or Assistant can be integrated into the system if you wish.
5. Apple HomeKit
It’s a software framework inbuilt into the Smart Apple devices. Using the platform, there is no need for different smart home apps (that don’t necessarily sync with one another) on your smartphone so that you can control all the devices. This system brings them all together via the Home app. It works with Siri so that you can control smart smart products with voice commands. Thanks to the recent updates in iOS, users can pair devices via QR codes or by NFC.
The selection of smart products that work with the system is not as comprehensive as the others, but new non-Apple devices and kits are constantly added to the list. Currently, Apple is partnered with such brands as Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio so that HomeKit Hub supports their smart devices.
5 Best Smart Home Devices
According to the statistics, it’s forecasted that there will be over 75 billion IoT-connected devices in use worldwide by 2025. What’s more, global spending on IoT will reach $1.1 trillion. So, it was a true challenge to highlight only 5 smart devices that are a must-have.
1. Amazon Echo (4th Generation)
Are you in search of a device to cater to your everyday needs? Amazon Echo is a perfect choice. Do you wish to order a pizza, make a call, listen to music, create a shopping to-do list, send messages, get answers, set an alarm? Whatever you need, Amazon Echo can do that. Besides, it connects to other smart devices in your home so that it can be used as a liaison between you and your smart TV, for instance. This speaker also can be synced for multi-room sound and has advanced voice control.
2. Google Nest Wi-Fi
It’s a fact that to make your smart devices work properly and smoothly, a strong and speedy Wi-Fi connection is required. This mesh router is a smart choice to connect those doodads so that they perform the tasks needed. It provides you with:
- Ease of installation;
- A really strong connection that won’t drop when you move it, for example;
- A simple network controls that sit right alongside the smart home controls in the Google Home app;
- Advanced Wi-Fi features like WPA3 security, device prioritization, 4×4 MU-MIMO support, etc.
On top of that, you’re spreading Google Assistant’s footprint with it. Yet, pay attention that this smart device doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6.
3. Ecobee SmartThermostat
If you wish to make your home more comfortable then take a closer look at the Ecobee SmartThermostat. Not only can you control air temperature with voice commands but do many of the same things you do with Assistant/Siri/Alexa:
- Control other devices;
- Play music;
- Shop, and many more.
Thus, it can work as an Amazon speaker. What’s more, other apps and home smart systems (Alexa, Apple HomeKit, etc.) can be integrated with the device. Plus, it can control the room you’re in.
4. NetGear Arlo Q
Today almost all smart products are created for your convenience and entertainment. Yet, safety first. And if you need a smart device to make your home safer and more secure then the NetGear Arlo Q is a truly useful tool. This is a camera that:
- Records high-quality video and audio;
- Produces exceptional quality images of people in pitch-blackness;
- Can be customized to automatically record while you’re not home;
- Can work on a time-based schedule;
- Offers 7 days of video and audio backup for free.
5. Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI
This is another smart device that takes care of your homework routine. The Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI can both vacuum and mop the floors in your home, flat. What’s more, this robot vacuum boasts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and visual interpretation (AIVI) technology so that it can identify and avoid obstacles automatically. A neat Visual Butler feature is another highlight of the product that allows you to view live videos of your home from wherever you are. Another strong feature of this device is that it works with Assistant, allowing you to control it with your voice.
The market of IoT and smart home systems evolve rapidly, offering you more and more devices and platforms so that you can make your life even more comfortable, secure, and easier. The listed smart systems and devices are only a few among the decent releases on offer. Today, you can fit your wishes and budget easily. So, just read reviews and check the options to make the right choice.