The COVID-19 pandemic and the successive lockdowns over the last one year have made almost all of us homebound. What was once a sacred space where only select few people from work would be invited, is now visible on camera for everyone to see.
Obviously, like all of us, you too have invested considerable thought (and perhaps some money) in ensuring that your home is now, also, video—conference-worthy. But let’s face it you can only do that much with an office desk and chair and have only those many paintings or artistic photographs around you.
So if you’re thinking about truly upgrading your home, here are five smart gadgets for your living space. As it turns out, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make your home a smart home.
Here are five smart gadgets that’ll do the job and also not blow a large hole in your pocket.
If you can’t afford smart appliances or are just generally unsure of whether to go the smart way for your home appliances, a smart plug is a great start. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and it can connect your iron, television etc and make them smart appliances. You can control these using their mobile app, which is to say you can turn them on or off via your phone or schedule a time when they can turn on automatically. The TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug can also allow you to control these appliances using Google Assistant and Alexa. The TP-Link HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plug is available for Rs 2600.
The Amazon Fire Stick 4K converts your standard TV into a smart TV. All you need to do is plug the stick into the TV’s HDMI port and you can connect to the Internet, all the major OTT apps and then some. The Amazon Fire Stick 4K comes at Rs 5,999, which, safe to say, is a steal.
Keeping an eye on your home is as easy as installing an app. The tiny camera doesn’t require any special installation: place it on a flat surface in some corner and that’s about it. Yi Home Camera has a 111-degrees-wide lens so it covers a very wide area and records videos at 720p. It also has advanced night vision and motion detection so you can see if you have an intruder in the middle of the night.
The camera connects to an app on your phone and also has two-way audio, which means you can communicate with the person on the other end by simply talking into your phone. Imagine scaring the bejesus out of that unsuspecting intruder!
There are several smart fans in the market. However, Orient remains one of the oldest fan makers in the country and so it’s a pleasant surprise, not to mention a relief to see they’ve also moved into the smart fan space. The sleek fan is modern in its aesthetic and can be controlled with the Orient Smart app. Turn on one of its various modes or schedule its turn on and turn off timings using the app or Alexa and Google Assistant. Available for Rs 9,050 Orient Electric Aeroslim smart ceiling fan is the appliance you didn’t know you needed.
A smart speaker that sounds amazing, looks great, and doesn’t occupy a lot of space: The Apple HomePod mini is all that and then some. Its size notwithstanding the Apple HomePod mini delivers great audio quality, not to mention 360-degree audio. If one HomePod isn’t enough for you, you can always pair it with another one for a more immersive stereo experience. Since the Apple HomePod mini is a smart speakere, you can use Siri to control all its compatible devices. At Rs 9,900, the Apple HomePod mini is a great addition not just to your home but also your Apple universe.
The great part about a smart scale is that it gives you a holistic view of your body metrics. When you’re on a mission to lose weight, having a scale that only shows your weight can be unhelpful and sometimes demotivating because the kgs are not the only metric you should be considering. The Realme Smart Scale tracks heart-rate, fat level, BMI and a dozen more metrics that give you a full picture of how your body is reacting to your new routine and diet. This doesn’t just help you have the most accurate information but also keeps you motivated. And at Rs 1,999, it doesn’t burn as big a hole in your pocket as some of the other scales.