Want to get in on the smart home tech buzz but don’t know where to start? A connected home is all about convenience and taking some of the stress out of modern life.
Getting an awesome new bit of tech is one of the most exciting gifts you can receive. But as there are so many options, it can be tough to decide what to buy.
So, we’ve scoured the web to find the best out there so that you don’t have to. Whatever your budget, there is something for everyone.
Tiles Pro (£30)
A perfect gift for that person in your life that is always losing things. These are perfect for tucking into wallets, passports, handbags or sticking on laptops, notebooks or keys. Basically, you can attach one of these tiles to anything valuable that you are afraid to lose. It can track up to 150ft and cast an even wider search net by having the app on multiple phones to scan your surroundings. Genius.
Sammy Screamer motion sensor (£34)
Hang a Sammy Screamer around the lid and she’ll bleep when she is moved, sending a notification to your smartphone. This fantastic little gadget from Bleep Bleeps can be put on the fridge, in draws, on your bag, on door handles, and even give you an alert if your buggy moves. This is a sweet little sensor to help you keep an eye on any object.
Fire Stick (£39.99)
Amazon’s next generation of media stick now includes the Alexa Voice Remote search and over 7,000 apps, games and Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix, YouTube – the list goes on.
A motion activated night light for the toilet. It lights up the toilet bowl as you walk into the bathroom. So, there are no more accidents in the dark. With a soft glow, it won’t make you wide awake. It fits on any seat rim. If the person in your life needs landing lights, this is definitely the one.
Sphero Mini (£49.99)
Amazon Echo (current price, £54.99)
The first step to a smart home is having a smart speaker. For anyone tempted to dip their toe into modernising their home, an Amazon Echo is a great place to start. You can control lights, your central heating and set timers and reminders. Being a smart speaker, it can also play music and the in-built voice assistant can entertain the whole family with games such as Hangman, The Name Game (Rhyming) and musical chairs.
Smarter iKettle (£99)
A smart product that helps you save time can feel invaluable. The kettle from Appkettle allows you to boil it remotely from your bedroom when you wake up, or when you’re on your way home from work and can boil at a pre-selected temperature for your perfect cup of tea. It also has a setting for making baby formula, so could even be perfect for any new parents in your clan.
Not just for checking on your children’s midnight feast habits, the FridgeCam allows you to see the contents of your fridge from anywhere via the Smarter app and suggests recipes based on the food in your fridge.
RING Video Doorbell (£99)
Wi-fi enabled doorbell allows you to see, hear and speak to anyone who arrives on you doorstep via smartphone, tablet or desktop.
Noise Cancelling Sony Headphones (£349)
To be precise, the WH-1000XM3 Wireless headphones allow you to enjoy your favourite tunes with the latest HD noise cancelling technology. They ‘cut more outside sound than ever’ but touch your ear and hear the outside through the Quick Attention function. They also have Voice Assistant compatibility.
Canary Flex (£199)
A home security camera that knows when you leave, giving you an extra pair of eyes and ears to watch over your things. Canary will start recording as soon as someone it doesn’t recognise enters your home – even if they have a key to get in. It sends you a notification to call the police and streams the live footage to your app.
Nanoleaf lights (£179)
Nanoleaf is a beautifully personalized lighting display. The company does jazzy lightbulbs but their showstopper product is the wall lights that transform can a room. Add the Nanoleaf Rhythm (which turns the lighting into music visualizer) to bring the lights to life even more.
Google Pixel 3 and 3XL (from £739)
The 12.2MP dual-pixel camera in Google’s latest smartphone delivers the sharpest pictures around. It also takes the best pictures at night thanks to ‘night sight’ mode without needing the flash. The XL is bigger than an iPhone 8, and both sizes comes in white, black and ‘not pink’.
Hadro Black AirPods (£570)
Fancy a pair of Apple’s Airpods, but white isn’t your colour? Based in Paris, the company says that each set of headphones and the charging case are “individually handcrafted” and you can add engraved custom initials on the case for an extra £45. (actual pricing is in euros).
U by Moen (£960)
Although a shower product doesn’t sound like natural idea for a gift, this thermostatic digital shower can be controlled by your smartphone and your smart speaker, so you can get the shower warmed up from afar. It will also pause the water until you get in. You can also set up profiles for each family member so everyone gets their preferred temperature, or change it up for different times of day or activities, like relaxation or post-workout.