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5 ways to make your home smarter, from Google Home to a connected toothbrush

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5 ways to make your home smarter, from Google Home to a connected toothbrush

Post by AlleyRose on Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:26 pm

THE SMART home has been promised for years but there are ways to make your home intelligent right now.
With these products, you could find your floors cleaned, your teeth monitored, your front door filmed, and your questions answered with very little effort.
We rounded up five of the savviest smart home gadgets and put them to the test (yes, including the US release Google Home speaker) so you can decide whether it’s time for the robots to do their chores

Google Home

It looks like a modest speaker but Google Home could be the brains of your household. Announce "tell me about my day", and the speaker will reveal the weather, the traffic to your route, your first meeting, reminders, and play audio news services. Need to get to work? Ask it to book you an Uber. You can do it without touching your phone. Despite being a US-only release for now (available through HopShopGo and Big Apple Buddy), there is plenty it can do, including prepare your shopping list, ask you trivia questions, dig up facts from the web, and play music from streaming services. This is just the beginning, and Home will get better, but it offers a smart home experience easily and inexpensively. 


This newest entry into the smart toothbrush category has six modes including deep clean and gum massage, a timer to make sure you brush for long enough and a warning light that tells you when you are applying too much pressure. It comes with a smartphone mount that attaches to your bathroom mirror, with an app that detects the brush position inside your mouth and alerts you when you have cleaned each zone for a sufficient time. It comes with a smart travel case and brush head holder. It is a little fiddly to set up but definitely offers a smarter and better way to clean your teeth.

Pure Hot + Cool Link

In this device, Dyson has created a heating, cooling, pollen-extracting, dust-eating, fart-busting machine. The Pure Hot + Cool Link looks like a space-age Dyson fan with a larger base, and inside that base a 360-degree glass filter is used to remove 99.95 per cent of allergens and pollutants from the air. Users can monitor the air quality, and the results of its efforts, in a smartphone app, and see when indoor pollution typically peaks. While hayfever sufferers will appreciate its cleaning properties, it's also capable of delivering a focused or dispersed stream of hot or cool air, and is operated conveniently from a remote control. 

Video Doorbell

If you've ever wondered whether it's worth answering the doorbell, this device can help you. The Ring Video Doorbell features a camera, a motion sensor, a speaker, a microphone, and an internet connection. It detects when someone approaches your front door, alerts connected smartphones, and can let you see and talk to the person trying to get your attention. Your voice might not be enough to convince a mail carrier to leave your parcel at the door, but it's worth a try, and its battery only requires charging every six to 12 months. On the downside, you'll need to ensure your wi-fi signal reaches the front door (an extender may be required), and it takes a few seconds for alerts to arrive. 

Roboking Turbo + HomeView

This is the smartest robotic vacuum we have used but not the best. As a robot vacuum, it has the features you're looking for including the ability to schedule cleaning, manual control a range of cleaning patterns depending on whether you're trying to clean a big room or focus on a spot. It also has the bonus of being able to remotely use the in-built camera to see what's happening inside your house when you're out. While the camera gives this unit an edge over other models we found it frequently got snagged on power cords during cleaning and needed intervention. 

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