For the second year in a row, Best Buy custom-built a smart home for the National Home Show in Toronto. I had the exciting opportunity to step inside the home this weekend and check out the latest smart home products from more than 15 top brands.
What immediately impressed me about the smart home is how it was designed like an actual home. There were all the rooms you’d expect to see in a typical home, including the living room, main kitchen, bedroom, toy room, and they even had the front door.
Another aspect I loved is how no products were locked away inside glass cases—they were all displayed naturally in the home. You could sit on the couch and watch demo reels on Samsung’s latest 4K TVs, you could take a look inside Bosch’s kitchen appliances, like the dishwasher and oven, or you could sit down in the padded toy room and play with the newest Sphero smart toys.
Benefits of smart home technology
It was fascinating to learn how smart home technology can add convenience, security, and peace of mind to your home. Products inside the smart home could be controlled using smartphones, tablets, or PCs, including the smart lights, smart appliances, and smart security devices. With simple taps on a smartphone, I saw how you can instantly dim bedroom lights, start your laundry machine, adjust your thermostat, and turn on exterior security cams. It was like peering into the future, but the future was now!
Here a closer look at some of the amazing smart home products I discovered:
Over in the Bosch urban kitchen, I was given a complete walkthrough of their newly announced connected appliances. Bosch’s new line of home appliances can all be controlled using their Home Connect app, available on Android and Apple devices. To get started, you simply download the app and connect the appliances to your home Wi-Fi.
The conveniences were astounding. I watched as a Bosch rep showed me how you can preheat the smart oven, select cycles for the washer/dryer, or even brew a cup of coffee all on the Home Connect app.
Imagine this scenario: you wake up early in the morning, open up the Home Connect app in bed and select your favourite coffee from dozens of recipes (or choose a latte, if you prefer), walk downstairs to the kitchen and voilà, your coffee is brewed and ready to drink.
Or, how about this scenario: you’re coming home from work and need to cook dinner fast, as you have a family movie night planned. You open up the Home Connect app, preheat your Bosch smart oven, and you’re all set to start cooking the minute you get home. Later, you fill up the dishwasher, jump in the car, and start the wash cycle on the way to the theatre.
Those are just two of the many different scenarios that are possible using Bosch appliances and the Home Connect app.
Bosch appliances in the series
A full suite of home appliances will be available soon for Bosch’s Home Connect line. In the Best Buy smart home I saw first-hand Bosch’s smart washer and dryer, smart dishwasher, smart oven, smart cooktop, smart exhaust hood, and smart coffee machine. There’s also a smart refrigerator in the lineup that will take photos every time the fridge door opens or closes, which is extremely handy when you’re at the grocery store. Instead of relying on grocery lists or memory, the app can show you exactly what’s currently in your fridge!
There are so many neat aspects of the smart appliances, too. For example, the Bosch dishwasher can actually alert you when it’s low on soap, right on your smartphone or tablet. Also, the Bosch washer and dryer can recommend cycles based on what clothes you’re cleaning. As a coffee drinker, I was especially delighted to learn that Bosch’s coffee maker can brew a whole range of popular international recipes all within the Home Connect app.
If you want to add convenience and comfort to your home, Bosch’s smart appliances will make your everyday life smart and intuitive.
Smart Security Products
Another area in Best Buy’s smart home I spent a lot of time in was the front door. Here I had a chance to see Ring’s new Floodlight Cam, announced at this year’s CES.
The Ring Floodlight Cam is a revolutionary new floodlight and security camera, all in one. Traditional floodlights are great for lighting up dark areas, but lights alone may not deter unwanted people approaching your home. That’s where the Ring floodlight cam’s 1080p security camera and 110-decibel alarm come into play. If the camera spots any suspicious activity, the alarm will make them think twice about coming any closer.
More Ring Floodlight Cam features
That’s not all the Ring Floodlight Cam includes. It also has infrared night vision to help spot activity at night. Additionally, using a companion app you can get a live view from the camera—great when you’re away from your home. It even has facial recognition allowing you to “permit” family members to approach your home without sounding off the alarm.
For extra peace of mind, the Ring Floodlight Cam includes a lifetime purchase protection plan. This means if it ever got stolen, Ring would replace the product for the lifetime of the product. Now that’s great protection!
More products in the Ring security ecosystem
I also had a chance to see Ring’s large security product lineup. This included:
- Ring Stick Up Wireless Outdoor Camera
- Ring Solar Panel for Stick Up Cam
- Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Pro
All of these products can help secure you home in many ways. For instance, the Ring Video Doorbell enables you to see who’s at your front door from anywhere. Similarly, the Ring Stick Up Cam lets you see, hear, and speak to anyone who’s near your home. All of these products are built with weather-resistant materials, and include the lifetime protection plan.
Best Buy smart home wrap-up
All in all, I had a total blast at Best Buy’s smart home inside the National Home Show. A big thanks to Best Buy and the brand product specialists for giving me such an amazing tour with so many interesting smart home products to try out first-hand.
Click here to see the complete range of products available right now that Best Buy has on display at the home show. Which ones interest you most?