It’s that time of year again. With Christmas right around the corner and snow (and ice) on the ground, it’s time to give your loved ones the gifts they’ve always been wanting: smart home gifts! Here at Josh.ai we get to play with all kinds of smart home products, and these are just a few of our favorites.
The Nest Thermostat is the most useful and easiest to use smart thermostat that we’ve seen on the market. With many settings including determining whether you are home or away, its beautiful form factor, and the ability to work with most homes or offices, it’s almost a no-brainer for anyone on your shopping list.
Sticking with the Nest theme, they also make our favorite camera to use. Streaming in HD and being able to access your feed from anywhere in the world are huge pluses. But once again, Nest made something useful look nice, too. The wide field of vision and useful features in the app make for a compelling gift for the security enthusiasts looking to plug a few gaps in their coverage … or anyone else for that matter.
Here in the Josh.ai offices, we use Sonos every day. The speakers look nice when on display, their sound quality is great, and they work with more services than we could ever possibly use. The ability to group multiple speakers together to play the same music in many rooms is so easy to use, it’s a wonder how people got by with complicated wired solutions for so long. When you get a new one it’s easy to integrate and into your existing set up. For anyone who likes listening to music or radio it’s just a good, sensible purchase for someone on their way to a truly smart home.
Starting at $199 — http://www.sonos.com/products/wireless-speakers
LIFX bulbs are a simple, no nonsense solution to smart lighting for your home. Buy a bulb, put it in a light socket somewhere, set it up on your wi-fi, and play around with all the colors it can make. With its easy to use interface and ease of installation, even the non-tech savvy can get plenty of use out of these bulbs.
Starting at $39.99 — http://www.lifx.com/collections
We recently got the new Roku 4 in the office and it’s been a blast playing with it. There are over 2,500 channels and streaming services you can put on there, including all the popular ones like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon. There are also music streaming channels such as Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. With everything all in one place and an app that lets you search for and open directly to media, it’s incredibly easy to use and has all of your TV and movies in one place. Combine that with it’s low price point and the ability to stream in 4K, and it’s the perfect gift for the Millennials looking to binge on their favorite TV shows.
$129.99 — https://www.roku.com/products/roku-4