By Robyn Wright
Mobile technology allows us to connect devices not only for entertainment but also to make our homes safer. These products connect via our home networks but we can also access them online at work or using our smartphones and tablets from just about anywhere in the world.
If you are a frequent traveler, have kids or older relatives at home, or you just want feel safer and more secure, then here are a few connected devices that might help:
If you need an extra set of eyes in your home, the Dropcam Pro might be just what you’re looking for. Just set it up in the desired location and connect it to your home network. Dropcam Pro has both a camera and built-in mic and speaker, so you can see and hear what’s happening and even communicate with people in the room. Night vision allows you to see in the dark and you can schedule the Dropcam Pro to send you email alerts when it detects motion or sound. You can even backup recordings to the cloud, so you can watch them later.
You may have heard of Nest thermostats but Nest also makes a smoke and carbon monoxide detector called Nest Protect. One of the best features of Nest Protect is that it doesn’t just beep at you when there’s a problem; it also adds a human voice to give you additional information. For example, It can tell you if there is smoke or carbon monoxide and in what room. Studies have shown that children can sleep through beeping alarms, so the human voice warning can help wake your children in the event of an emergency. Just like the Nest thermostat, the Nest Protect works with an app, so you can check in when you are away from home. Nest Protect even includes some tips on what to do in case of an emergency.
Belkin WeMo Light Switch
Back in the old days, we could plug lamps into bulky timers to make them go on and off at certain times. While they served a purpose, we now have much smarter devices that can act as timers and more. The Belkin WeMo Light Switch is Wi-Fi enabled and allows you to turn lights on and off from anywhere, including another room, the backyard, or even from the beach when you are on vacation.With the smartphone app, you can check to see if the lights are on or off, program the lights to turn on and off at sunrise and sunset, and more. On the wall the Belkin WeMo Light Switch is backlit, so it makes it easier to find in the dark. Think of the electricity you can save by turning off the lights that the kids left on – again.
The Kwikset Kevo is the latest in smart locks from a company that has been around for years. With the new Kevo, you can still use a traditional key but you can also use your smartphone via the Kevo app or specially programmed key fob if the younger members of your family don’t have a smartphone. This makes it easier than fumbling for traditional keys. If you need to let in the repairman or the babysitter, you can create an “electronic key” and send it to the individual’ smartphone. The Kevo comes in a choice of different finishes and it uses multiple levels of encryption to ensure the electronic signal can’t be duplicated.
Tagg Pet Tracker
Connected devices can even help keep your pets secure. The Tagg Pet Tracker attaches to your pet’s collar and uses GPS location and wireless technology to help find your pet using a computer or mobile device. Tagg can also alert you by text message or email if your pet strays from a pre-set boundary like a backyard or park. Once you receive the alert, you can quickly pinpoint your pet’s location on a map. If that wasn’t enough, you can even use it to track your pet’s activity to see if they are getting enough exercise!
How often do you misplace your keys? Attach the HTC Fetch to your key ring (or anything else you want to keep tabs on) and you can quickly tap on the app to find them via Google Maps. If you misplace your phone, you can press the button on the Fetch and it will activate your phone’s ringtone if it is within a 50 feet radius.
These are just a few of the many connected devices that can make us all feel safer and more secure in our homes.
Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!