5 smart devices to improve your home

Want to brew your coffee, find your lost keys and change the room temperature without leaving the couch? Here’s how.

Here are 5 smart devices that can improve your home:


An elegant design by Swan Solutions, Knocki connects to your WiFi and designates certain knock types to operate smart devices. One knock to turn off your lights, two quick knocks to turn off your TV, or three slow knocks to turn down the bass on your sound system – all of these can be programmed for any smart device in your home, reducing time, and unifying your smart devices in the process. The hockey puck-sized device differentiates between knock patterns with its clever algorithm, eliminating any confusion between other devices. The simplistic gadget can attach to any surface or wall, and retails at $172.


A small keyring chain in the shape of a tile, this device can emit a loud alarm, alerting you as to where you have misplaced your keys (or any other object to which you have attached the Tile). The device works through either and Android or iOS app, has a year life battery and retails on Amazon for $33.

Spinn Coffee Brewer

Controlled entirely from your smartphone, the Spinn Coffee Brewer connects to WiFi and serves several different styles of coffee. The machine brews the coffee using centrifugal force technology to generate pressure, independently determines how much water to use, automatically grinds the beans, and alerts pre-selected stores when your supply is running low. The eight-person team behind the barista style innovation has raised $2.2 million in funding, and can be pre-ordered today.

Sonos Play 1

Connecting to WiFi, the Sonos Play 1 is a wireless speaker which can be placed anywhere throughout your home. Using a central Sonos app, music can be played and streamed from several different mediums; including iHeartRadio, Spotify and its own Sonos playlist. What separates this device from its competitors is its compatibility and diversity when connected to other Sonos devices. Three devices can all play the same music, or can be designated to play different music on each – a trait unlike any other Bluetooth speaker. The Play 1 is $299.

Amazon Echo

With a 360° omni directional audio, Amazon’s Echo speaker fuses conventional Bluetooth technology with voice recognition to create a multi-purpose gadget for the home. Seven embedded microphones, using beam-forming and noise cancellation technology, allows for clear, far-field voice recognition – no matter what direction you are facing. Although its plethora of music services, such as Pandora, Spotify, and TuneIn, are impressive, the true ingenuity lies within its social capabilities. By stating the automotive response component’s name, “Alexa”, the Echo responds to different social needs – simply ask for the weather, order an Uber, order Dominoes pizza, or ask for the latest headlines from Huffington Post, and Alexa will comply with everything you have pre-selected from the Echo app on your smartphone. The Amazon Echo retails at $240.
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