At Simpleer we’re obviously big fans of simple, useful home technology that fits for Vancouverites, and we get particularly excited when things get to the price point where you don’t have to be a Monty Moneybags to afford these luxuries. With no further ado, here are our current favourites:
1) Nest thermostat – Who knew a programmable thermostat could be so cool? This thermostat learns as you use it, so you don’t have to actually figure out how to program the thing. It also makes it really easy set your home to ‘away’ to save energy when you’re not around, and equally easy to use its smart phone app to heat things up as you’re heading home.
2) Wall outlets with USB outlets – Since USB has become the standard for charging devices, it’s handy that manufacturers are coming out with wall outlets with built in USB outlets. This will help with clutter in our right sized Vancouver and lower mainland homes. Many manufactures have them including Leviton and Cooper, but Newer Technology gets props, as it turns off the charger to save power when nothing is plugged in.
3) Philips hue – These light bulbs allow the usual scheduling and control of your lights from your smartphone or tablet, but they also allow colour control! Perhaps you just need to set the right mood that only colour control can do. Fittingly you start with the Starter Kit that comes with the wireless bridge and then can add bulbs from there.
4) Cloud storage – Cloud storage services have been around for quite a while now including Box, Google, iCloud, Dropbox and SkyDrive. You usually get some storage for free, and adding more storage is reasonably priced. Microsoft’s SkyDrive gets extra points though, as it works seamlessly for files on Mac and Windows and all smartphones and tablets. We’d like to see seamless automatic cloud backups, but we’ll come back to that in the future.
5) Solid State Drives – Computers are usually a part of the home experience, so its best to ensure your focus is on enjoying your music or video and not a Mac pinwheel or Windows hourglass. Solid state hard drives like Crucial or Samsung have been around for a long time, but now they’re getting affordable for the rest of us who aren’t high end users. They are a reasonable splurge that will greatly improve the speed of a new or existing computer.
These are some great ideas to consider, and we’ll keep our eyes out for more to keep you posted.