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The Best and Worst of Smart Home Products


Every magazine, website, and blog is abuzz these days with products for a smart, connected, energy-efficient home. From innovations for how we cut carrots to how we park in our garages, these inventions touch every corner of domesticity. Some are game changers, while others are more head scratchers. Explore some highs and lows in the world of smart home innovation.

How Did I Live Without?

Nest Thermostat E

Simple, sleek, and super-effective, the Nest Thermostat E is tops in smart solutions to control your home HVAC system. It intelligently learns and auto adjusts your home’s heating and cooling preferences and is one new way to greenify your home.

In fact, Nest can tie into energy pricing to save customers additional money. If you do find you could use it a few degrees warmer or cooler, simply ask Alexa or your Google Assistant to take care of that adjustment faster than you can say, “It’s hot in here.”

The Smart Lock Pro + Connect

Gone are the days of hiding a spare key under a rock thanks to innovations in door lock technology. Using your cellphone or internet-enabled voice commands to open doors remotely, products such as the Smart Lock Pro + Connect can alert you if the door is open, unlocked, or ajar, adding an extra layer of home security.

Smarter Coffee 2.0

Programmable coffeemakers and single-pod machines have been around for decades, setting a high bar for coffee on demand. Rising to the occasion is the Smarter Coffee 2.0, which can be controlled using your smartphone or integrated with Alexa to customize your brew.

I Can Live Without

Below are some items that you probably could do without when it comes to smart home automation.

Automated Shutters

If opening and closing your plantation-style shutters (yes, all 10 of you) are arduous tasks, you can contribute to a Kickstarter campaign in support of ShutterEaze, billed as the world’s first automated shutter control. If you were hoping to apply smart technology to every corner of your life, this product may be perfect for you.

Bluetooth-Connected Toaster


Coffee has benefited from the rise of smart technology. Applying these same advances to toast, however? The idea seems, pardon the pun, half-baked to us. But if you crave more control and customization than is offered by the darkness dial, the Connected Toaster will complete your smart kitchen.

Antari WiFi800 Fog Machine Controlled by a Smartphone

Halloween comes once a year, and a fog machine is an integral part of a spooky experience. Enter the Antari Smartphone-Controlled Fog Machine. When you can’t leave your candy post, your phone can curate precision fog. It’s a fun idea for one night a year, but a better investment may be a new toothbrush for the post-Halloween sugar bugs.

In today’s ultra-connected age, the sheer range of smart home products is somewhat daunting to explore. While some of these inventions save not only time but also money, others seem likely to collect dust. Now, where did I leave my smart vacuum?