There’s no doubt that home automation is the future for us all, but right now it’s only a select few tech geeks and automation enthusiasts that are embracing this (often expensive) technology. The world is, however, moving on, we’re becoming greener and our tech is getting so much smarter.
The good news is that home automation and security systems are getting more affordable and more powerful all the time. In 2017 these gadgets have matured to the point where they become easy recommendations. In fact, there are so many good products that it can be hard to decide which are worth looking at.
That’s why I’ve chosen five stand-out choices for your consideration. The best and most interesting home automation and security systems on the market right now!
Logitech Logi Circle
It’s surprising how few truly great smart IP cameras there are on the market. The best you can usually hope for is a camera that doesn’t bombard you with false alarms. If you’ve been frustrated with dumb IP cameras that don’t integrate into your smart home then this Logi Circle should be your first stop.
It comes with 24 hours of cloud footage backup, it can tell the difference between a human entering the scene and an animal plus you get smart condensation of all the footage for the previous day.
Add to this the inclusion of automated night vision and we’re getting pretty close to the perfect indoor smart security camera.
The iSmartAlarm system is one of the most flexible and affordable smart security systems you can get today. It’s cheap compared to the average home security system, coming in well under $400 for the premium kit. There’s also a smaller $200 package if you have to cut your budget to the bone.
The best part of the iSmartAlarm system is how expandable it is. Start with a base kit now and as you can afford it, build it out with additional components to tighten the security net around your home.
This is also great since the company will be making new types of sensors in the future that will be backwards compatible with the base you buy today. It’s all controllable from your smartphone and although it’s not there yet, integration with home automation systems using Z-Wave or ZigBee is coming. Making this one of the best entry-points into integrated smart home security on the market.
While the iSmartAlarm system is perfect for the homeowner who has to gradually cover a large structure in security features, the world is packed with urbanites who live in much smaller apartments. This means a smaller, integrated security system is both more practical and much more convenient. Especially if you’ll be moving around every few years.
That’s where the Canary all-in-one system comes into play. This is far more than just an IP security camera, it’s a whole suite of security gadgets rolled into one simple box.
As a camera however, the Canary is designed to be the only one you need in the central space of your home. You get a wide-angle panoramic view of the room in crisp 1080p quality. Not to mention a great night-vision mode too!
This smart system knows where you are thanks to the location services of your phone, so you don’t have to worry about activating the motion sensing function when you leave or disabling it when you come back. You can do this for multiple phones too, so the whole family is tracked.
There’s a built-in siren and can even connect you to a preset emergency number. In addition to this there’s an air quality sensor, temperature sensor and humidity gauge. If you’re living in a small space and need a one-punch solution the Canary is a great choice!
The Apple TV + Apple HomeKit
Huh? Why is the Apple TV on this list? The answer is the HomeKit home automation standard from Apple. Lots of new home automation devices support the HomeKit standard and all you need to control all of your HomeKit-compatible gear is an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad.
At the moment HomeKit doesn’t have a hub device, which is actually pretty neat, but it has it’s downsides. Chief among which is the fact that when you leave your home with your phone or tablet, you can’t control your stuff anymore.
That is, unless you have an Apple TV, in which case you can do just that. By setting up your Apple TV as a home hub you really turn HomeKit into a true home automation solution.
It also helps that the Apple TV is one of the best media boxes out there and that the Apple music and movie services are top notch.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub
You may not immediately think of Samsung when you think about home automation, but you really should. After all, chances are half of the appliances in your home were made by Samsung and worldwide they are a juggernaut in home electronics.
The latest generation of SmartThings hub from the company does a dandy job of tying together a whole range of first- and third- party devices. It’s compatible with both Zigbee and Z-wave too.
It also doesn’t matter whether you like iOS or Android, there are apps for both platforms that work equally well.
The SmartThings hub is such a great product because it comes closest to realizing a universal standard for home automation devices. Many gadgets that weren’t explicitly designed for this hub will still work because of shared standards and in a pinch, it’s even compatible with IFTTT. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more mature or flexible solution in 2017.
Do the Robot
We all deserve that automated Jetsons future that we were promised as kids and now in 2017 it’s finally starting to happen in a way where average people can take advantage of it. We’re not quite there yet, but for now just being able to control your home with an iPhone is a triumph.