Like something straight out of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon ‘The Jetsons’, smart home appliances have turned much of what seemed like imagination into reality. ‘Smart home’ is used to define residences which have appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs and more. They are able to communicate with each other and can be controlled by a smartphone or computer. Owners can regulate house temperatures by a simple swipe on their phone, monitor their homes from miles away, and even be informed about scheduled maintenance of the device itself.
Caribbean people hardly benefit. This is because many of the additional services are restricted to citizens on the mainland. Additionally, it may be difficult to find aftermarket support for an appliance such as an Amazon Echo Dot, when Amazon has no branch on your Island. Nevertheless, a few manufacturers often keep us in mind. Here, we take a look at 5 appliances which can be useful for Caribbean homeowners.
1. Smart Camera- Netgear Arlo Pro
Smart cameras are perfect for keeping tabs on unwanted intruders near your home. The Netgear Arlo Pro provides both indoor and outdoor security monitoring. Owners receive up to seven days of free event-based cloud storage, and an optional 30- or 60-day event-based video history for $10 or $15 per month. The Arlo Pro boasts a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 6 months without the need to recharge. It offers a 130-degree viewing angle and is compatible with both Android and Apple phones. The biggest disadvantage of this camera offers no option for local storage. Still, many will definitely opt for the smart camera due to the ease of unifying devices.
2. Smart Lock- Kwikset Kevo
In 2018, most choose to secure homes in anticipation of potential break-ins. Keyless technology now makes it possible to enter locked doors using our smartphones. Kwikset Kevo turns a mobile phone into the key for a house. Once the app is downloaded, a number of keys can be created which may be sent to all members of the household. The master key remains in the possession of one person, which is important since it can also be used to revoke any electronic key issued. Walk up to the door with your phone’s Bluetooth connection turned on, and open the door with only a touch.
3. Smart Air Conditioning- Frigidaire Cool Connect
Summer brings along with it an unbearable heat on many Caribbean islands. This makes an air conditioner a necessity. Smart air conditioners allow owners to monitor and control their device using a tablet or smartphone. When away, users can ensure that their ACs are off/on as they had intended. Further, smart ACs are able to work with assistants such as Google’s and Alexa’s, allowing for voice control. The Frigidaire Cool Connect comes with a smart app, which can be installed on a smartphone or tablet for operation. At 10, 000 BTUs, it can cool a 450 square foot room.
4. Digital Personal Assistant- Google Home Mini
These refer to software-based services that reside in the cloud and are designed to help users complete tasks online. Some of these may include answering questions, controlling other smart devices, playing music, checking email and much more. These are also referred to as Smart Speakers. The Google Home Mini is a great option for first-time users. Once connected to Wi-Fi, users can communicate with the Google Assistant and offer various commands.
5. Smart TV- LG 55-inch C7 OLED
Probably the most popular smart device listed here for Caribbean users, Smart Tv’s are a must have. Many of the applications we love such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video come preinstalled on today’s Smart TVs. Other great features such as screencasting and support for NFC make it easy to share content between the TVs and smartphones. The LG 55-inch C7 offers an excellent 4K OLED display, support for multiple HDR formats and superb smart TV features. It is a robust TV and almost certainly belongs in your living room.