Today I’d like to examine five different Smart Home technologies that have emerged over the past few months and consider their potential to change all of our lives for the better. I’ve got two smart displays (one from Google and one from Amazon), two smart cameras (a D-Link and a KODAK), and one very modern and stylish smart lighting set from Nanoleaf. If you’re into smart and smart home devices, these five relatively new smart home technologies are sure to pique your interest!

 

Google Nest Hub

First up for discussion is the Google Nest Hub. This smart display features the mighty Google Assistant—one of the most powerful virtual assistants on the market today, giving you access to the entire Internet and its vast accumulation of human knowledge via the most powerful search engine that’s ever existed, Google.

This smart display also boasts a 7″ touchscreen (1024 x 600 resolution) and compatibility with over 5,000 different smart devices (from Nest, as well as over 400 other brands). This means that in addition to finding out virtually anything and everything you ever wanted to know simply by asking, you’ll also be able to control your lights, thermostats, security cameras, entertainment devices, and so much more in a way that both faster and easier than you likely ever imagined.

The Google Nest Hub is truly one of the very best smart displays currently available, and you can learn even more about it by reading Shelly Wutke’s complete written review from just a few weeks ago right here on the Blog. Oh, and be sure to watch her video as well, so you can see this thing in action.

 

Amazon Echo Show 5

One product that might have something to say about who the true King of smart displays is, though, is the Amazon Echo Show 5. This clever device has its own ingenious virtual assistant built in—the ever-popular Alexa, with capabilities such as controlling your numerous other smart home devices and being able to answer all manner of questions.

With the Amazon Echo Show 5, you’ll also be able to engage in video calling, watch and record video (the Show 5 features a built-in 1 MP camera offering 720p HD video), make use of the thousands of different Skills that Alexa offers, enjoy your favourite tunes through its 1.65″ 4W stereo speakers, and even control your privacy with the included microphone/camera on/off button, just to name a few of its many excellent features.

When we first learned about this device back in May, I wrote this announcement piece to introduce it to readers. Give the article a look for additional details on the Amazon Echo Show 5, and hopefully we’ll have a full hands-on review of one of these devices in the not too distant future.

 

D-Link Wi-Fi Indoor 720p HD Pan & Tilt IP Camera

Moving on to a different type of product now, let’s take a look at the D-Link Wi-Fi Indoor 720p HD Pan & Tilt IP Camera. This indoor surveillance camera offers HD resolution (720p) while protecting your home from intruders of all kinds. If motion is detected, a push notification will be sent to your smart phone as the camera records whatever it sees. It can even see and record video in the dark (up to 5 metres thanks to its built-in LEDs). What’s really impressive about this camera, though, is its auto motion tracking feature, which pans and tilts to automatically track whatever is moving about in your home. Simply connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network and you’re good to go. Compatible with a variety of different smart home devices and technologies (like IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, and the Google Assistant), this camera is a definite step forward in the smart security camera realm. More details may be found by reading Rae Chen’s recent review of this fine camera.

 

KODAK Cherish F685 Camera

Another must-have camera that’s recently emerged on the smart security camera scene is the KODAK Cherish F685 Home Security Camera. Among its many useful features are Wi-Fi connectivity, Full HD video in 1080p, infrared night vision (perfect for seeing in the dark), and notifications on your smart phone via the KODAK Smart Home App if something is picked up via its motion or sound detectors. It also has two-way audio built in so you can easily communicate with whoever’s being recorded from wherever you might be. Backed by KODAK’s Quality Guarantee (which ensures reliability with a promise of replacement), the Cherish F685 is among the most attractive smart security cameras currently available. Here’s a review by Shelly Wutke of both the Cherish F685 Camera and KODAK’s new Cherish C525 Video Baby Monitor as well.

 

Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit

Finally, I’d like to look at the Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit, which is a newer adaptation of something that Nanoleaf has been doing for several years now—decorative light panels that enhance the ambience of any room they adorn.

Coming in a set of nine square panels (their previous panels were triangles), these lights can be arranged in any pattern your imagination can conjure up, and they can be lit up in practically any colours too!

They’re also controllable in a variety of different ways, from using Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, to IFTTT or Apple’s HomeKit. You can even turn them on simply by touch, or program them to come on and go off according to a schedule of your own design.

Nanoleaf panels easily snap together via special linker pieces and use included mounting adhesives (double-sided) to stick to your walls without the necessity of any special tools. They’re fun, stylish, easy to use, and a true innovation in the world of smart lighting!

 

And there you have it—five new smart home technologies that are worth knowing more about! If you’re into smart home technology and would like to keep abreast of all the latest developments in this quickly moving category, visit Best Buy’s Smart Home page regularly, and don’t be a stranger here on the Blog either, because we’re always announcing, discussing, and even reviewing all the latest smart home tech.

 

Leonard Bond
Originally from Nova Scotia, I currently live with my wife in Burnaby, BC. I have previously lived in both Toronto and New Zealand as well. I love to travel and I also love classic literature and great movies (especially spy & espionage works such as those featuring James Bond & Jason Bourne). I am also a serious toy and memorabilia collector (mostly Transformers) and have a great interest in gadgets and technology of all sorts. Many things intrigue me, and that's why I'm here on the Plug-In Blog. I never know what interesting things I'll encounter next!

2 COMMENTS

  1. I do like those indoor security cameras, but I’m very interested in that Nanoleaf Canvas Starter Kit. It would be cool to design my own lighting on my wall!

    • They do look pretty cool! And there’s also the original Nanoleaf panels which are triangular, so using the two different shapes together might also be interesting.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here