Holiday Gifts from the Future: 3 Smartphone / Wifi Controlled Items You Can Get Right NowLaura Mayes
Remember when you watched the Jetsons and thought “I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to get my robot!” Well, welcome to the future, my friends. Rosey is currently in your hands.
On a completely related note, I’ve become that girl with a phone in her hand at all times. (Now if only I could find my keys.) But instead of beating myself over this robototron behavior, I’m embracing my inner Jetson and enabling some of the cool ways my smartphone can make work and home life easier, better and all around awesomer. (Like by helping me find my keys.)
Here are a few of the latest, easy-to-use innovations that I’ve installed and/or am hoping to give this holiday season:
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we have a fun thermostat. Beautiful and ridiculously easy to install, the NEST is a full-function thermostat that “learns” our heating and cooling patterns. It senses when we are home or away to make cost-saving temperature adjustments. I can control temperature settings away from home using my smartphone app or by logging in to the NEST website a great feature when I forget to turn down the AC before leaving on vacation or if I want to adjust the temperature at home from the office. $249 online. This thing is the future. Also, it’s pretty.
The Foscam FI8918W Wireless IP Camera is basically a baby monitor on steroids. This wireless video camera with two-way audio, night vision (up to 8 ft.) and a remote pan and zoom feature can be placed anywhere within reach of your wireless router. Once connected, you can monitor secure video and audio from the next room or anywhere in the world over your smartphone or standard web interface. Once your family outgrows the crib-watching years, use the Foscam to
spy check in on kids playing in the yard, monitor the front door, or keep an eye on your pet while away. $99 online. I’m thinking of installing it as an intercom to the Man Cave we’ve converted in the back yard shed. Or, maybe that’s the worst idea ever.
The Lockitron is going to save my life. It’s pretty brilliant, simple-to-use, and will allow me to loose my keys to my heart’s delight. Basically it’s a robot lock that installs over your existing deadbolt in seconds, and once online, lets you lock or unlock your door (without a key) from your smartphone. You can give a code to others, which makes granting temporary access to trusted neighbors or contractors fast and easy. Lockitron won’t ship until May 2013, but you can reserve one now for yourself or as a clever holiday gift. $179 online. I may need seven.
So see? The future is here. Your Holiday gift options are rad.
Now I just need to remember to keep my phone charged. Is there an app for that? Rosey!