Smart home products rarely get as much hype as smartphone releases, but having the right new tech products in your home can truly transform the way you live, making entertaining easier and more fun. Here are some of our favorites for this holiday season and beyond:
When it comes to home entertaining, do-it-all home assistants are game changers. Amazon Alexa and Google Home make it simple to search for a recipe or playlist with your voice, order someone’s Christmas gift the moment you think of it, and even control lights or infotainment with your smartphone while away from the house. With a little bit of integration, you can have your entire home ready for the holidays with the push of a button.
The newest smart home products don’t decorate for you just yet, but devices like the Wink Hub 2 consolidate all of your smart devices so you can set mood lighting and temperature; start a Christmas playlist on Spotify or Pandora; and even turn on the fireplace.
Surround Sound Speakers
Surround sound used to only be found in fancy homes, movies, or at your tech-savvy neighbor’s place, but new tech products have changed all that. Sonos speakers make home audio as seamless as connecting to Bluetooth headphones, and their functionality is practically infinitely expandable. Now, you can ask Google Home to play a Christmas playlist while you’re baking in the kitchen, and it can also play in every room you have Sonos speakers enabled—all with no extra wiring or installation costs.
Tech may be making home entertaining easier than ever, but it has also sometimes left us empty-handed after holiday parties. Instead of taking photos and getting them developed and printed, we snap pictures on smartphones and text or post them on Instagram. But for many family members, uploading a picture to the cloud isn’t a tangible memory. The HP Sprocket Printer uses tech to expedite a time-honored tradition—taking and printing photos for Grandma to put on the fridge, frame, or memorialize in a scrapbook.
While it may be a little strange to turn on the fire with a voice-activated home assistant, and some people mourn the cameras we ditched in favor of our phones, no one will complain about letting a robot do the chores. Roomba has been around for some time, but the automated vacuuming robot is better than ever and now pairs with home assistants like Alexa to make a quick pre-party cleanup as easy asking.
Smart home products may seem like luxurious gimmicks, but they’re more affordable than you’d think and more capable than ever before. This holiday season, there’s no better gift to yourself or someone else than a few new tech products that can make your house smarter, safer, more efficient, and more entertaining.