Smart Home Devices

‘A‘ali‘i embraces “smarter living,” the idea that what’s outside your home is as important as what’s inside. Modern architecture and a flexible living environment blend with a dynamic community centered around food, art, culture and convenience. So, if that’s “smarter living,” what exactly is a “smart home”?

The technical definition of a “smart home” is a home that’s equipped with lighting, security and entertainment devices that can be controlled remotely from your phone or computer. But smart homes are also places that help you live more efficiently. It’s a space where less does more. A home that makes you feel safer, saves you extra effort and more importantly, saves you time.

So, if you’re looking to raise the I.Q. of your home, check out these popular smart devices that are changing the way we live.

AMAZON ECHO vs. GOOGLE HOME

For those unfamiliar with these devices, these are hands-free, personal assistants. First, you connect them to other apps and smart devices in your house via WiFi and the cloud. Then you can give these smart speakers verbal commands to play music, dim the lights, check a sports score, or even find a recipe for Portuguese bean soup. Think of it as a smarter user-interface to control your home.

CNET actually rates Amazon Echo and its Alexa Voice Service as the best smart home experience, saying, “The Echo may be the closest thing we’ll have to a Star Trek computer at home.” However, if you own a Google Chromecast device or use Google apps like mail and calendar, you might want to look into a Google Home and be patient as the device catches up to its competitor.

Amazon Echo, $179.99

Google Home, $129

SONOS

One device where compatibility shouldn’t be a problem is the Sonos Home Sound System. Sonos, a pioneer in wireless sound throughout your home, recently showcased upcoming Alexa control and is committed to a brand agnostic voice control system in the future.

Sonos is a great way for music, movie and podcast-lovers to up their smart audio game. One app on your phone gives you control of over 30 streaming services through WiFi. It also gives you the flexibility to play different music in different rooms. Sonos also offers a surround sound system for your TV for the big game or for your next binge-fest. Best of all, even though you control the app through your phone, there are no interruptions from phone calls, texts, or annoying alerts from your Instagram feed.

Sonos Play: 1 speaker, $199

NEST PROTECT

Nest is another leader in smart home technology, featuring indoor and outdoor cameras and smart thermostats. But the product that improves most on its predecessor is the Nest Protect, smart smoke alarm.

The Nest Protect uses a friendly human voice to give you a heads up if something’s burning and a carbon monoxide sensor that warns you of unsafe levels. It also gives you a phone alert if there’s a problem when you’re not home. And best of all, it gently lets you know when your batteries are low versus regular smoke detectors that randomly chirp, waking you up in the middle of the night. It’s a beautifully designed device that not only keeps your house safer, but makes your home smarter.

Nest Protect, $99

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