The “Internet of Things,” otherwise known as all the doodads that you can now control via the web, has exploded in recent years. Once upon a time, you walked in your front door and had to wait 30 minutes while your furnace warmed up. Now your smart thermostat knows when you get home and has the house nice and toasty for you. And who would have thought five years ago you could wear a bracelet that would keep tabs on your body and let you know if you’re getting enough exercise?
This holiday season, it seems like everyone is hoping for these connected devices to be left under their tree. Here at Automatic, we’re obviously nuts about the possibilities these devices have to make our lives easier, safer, and more productive. Being early adopters ourselves, we’ve polled our team and put together a list of things that we absolutely can’t live without. Herewith, our Top Internet of Things gifts, sure to delight anyone on your gift list.
The granddaddy of the connected device trend, these sleek, smart thermostats learn how you like your house heated (or cooled) and adjust your settings automatically to maximize your comfort and minimize your utility bill. We love nothing more than coming home to a warm house on a cold winter day. Well, as cold as it gets in San Francisco, at least.
If you’re like us, you can never remember if you closed the garage door or left the lights on. Chamberlin MyQ is here to ease your forgetful mind. Check to see if your garage door is closed (and get notified if it opens) right from your smartphone. Better yet, you can close your garage door right from your phone without driving all the way back home. Rest easy knowing that your castle is safe.
You’ve probably noticed people wearing slick-looking, hard rubber bracelets around. Not only is the Jawbone UP a powerful fitness tracker, but it’s also a wearable accessory that you won’t look silly wearing. Set goals, track results, improve your health, and look good doing it. Jawbone UP will also connect with many other services, including your Automatic or Nest, to help further your fitness goals. We find that with these simple interventions, we begin to feel healthier and happier within a few days.
Never fumble for your keys again with August’s Bluetooth-enabled smart lock. It knows when you’re arriving home and unlocks the door for you. You can also make sure that the door is locked or give others temporary access (like your dog walker) for a few hours a day, all from your smartphone. Don’t leave houseguests waiting on your doorstep while you deal with traffic or drop your groceries while you search for keys ever again.
SmartThings is a connected device hub for your home. It lets you do simple things, like monitoring your home for unexpected movement or helping you find your keys; to very complicated things, like knowing whether your pet needs food or setting mood music and lighting when you arrive home. Being a little geeky ourselves, we’ve found myriad ways to make this work for our homes. The customizability of SmartThings makes it best for the slightly more advanced user, but the array of options are worth it.
And last, but certainly not least…
Obviously we think this is the bee’s knees. With Automatic, your cars are now connected to the web. Check engine light comes on? Automatic will tell you what’s going on and help you find someone to fix it. Forget where you parked? Automatic’s got that covered too. With countless safety features, including crash alerts that contact emergency services in an accident, Automatic helps you drive safer and smarter. Automatic will even let your Nest know when you’re heading home so that the house will be ready for you when you arrive.