As technology keeps improving, new home innovations continue to ease age-old issues and solve problems homeowners never knew they had. With these noteworthy products, you can give the gift of making someone’s home safer, more efficient, or just more fun.
1. Nest Thermostat; $248
Nest comes with a sleek interface that’s intuitive and easy to use, but that’s hardly the best part. Over time, as you adjust the temperature to suit your needs, the thermostat “learns” your schedule so it can keep your home comfortable while you sleep and warm it when you wake up. Nest also manages energy efficiency while you’re out and about. If your schedule changes, it adapts, while smartphone compatibility allows you to keep control from afar.
Find it: Nest.com
2. iRobot Scooba; $599.99
Robotic vacuum cleaners have never been better, and Scooba is the premiere pick. Never mop again with this unobtrusive device that sweeps and pre-soaks, scrubs, then squeegees your floors to perfection, wiping away 99.3% of bacteria while you’re off doing something more exciting.
Find it: iRobot.com
3. Smarter Home Starter Kit; $299
Control your home from anywhere you and your smartphone go with one of the many kits and products offered by Smart Things. Feel safe with alerts that tell you when someone opens a door or window unexpectedly or even if there’s motion detected while you’re asleep or away. You can also lock and unlock doors from anywhere, turn on the lights before you get home, find your keys, and control small appliances remotely.
Find it: SmartThings.com
4. Moxie Bluetooth Showerhead; $199
Not all home innovations are about being safer or more efficient. Some are just plain fun, like these rechargeable, wireless speaker showerheads that take singing in the shower to the next level. They come in multiple colors and feature a spa-like rain-style spray.
Find it: Kohler.com
5. Wi-Fi Enabled Baby Monitor; $249.99
We’ve come a long way from static-ridden baby monitors that were essentially one-way walkie-talkies. The latest upgrade comes with a navigable, wide-angle 3-megapixel camera that you control with your smartphone. Additional features include the ability to play a lullaby, turn on a nightlight, and receive alerts at the first sign of fussing.
Find it: Brookstone.com
6. Fujifilm INSTAX Instant SmartphonePrinter; $199
These days, everyone’s photos are on their phones—which is great for when you’re on the go but leaves the walls and albums of your home woefully bare. Print out tangible versions of your most photogenic memories instantly with this wireless smartphone printer and start turning those Instagrams into home art.
Find it: UrbanOutfitters.com
7. Yoga Tablet 2 Pro; $499.99
Turn any room into a home theater with this tablet that projects a display of up to 50” on any wall or ceiling —it even has its own built-in surround sound. It does all the normal tablet work as well, but with such viewing capabilities, it’s okay if you spend all your time binge-watching your favorite shows and movies.
Find it: Lenovo.com
8. Aether Cone; $399
The Cone is more than just a stylish, minimalist speaker with great sound quality. Without requiring access to any existing library of music, it pulls wirelessly from Internet radio and podcasts to play exactly what you want to hear. How does it know what you want? It learns based on your typical preferences and infers from when and where you are. And if it guesses wrong, just reach out and give the speaker a twist and the Cone will play something different.
Find it: Aether.com
9. Ring; $249
Ring lets you answer the door, even when you’re not home. The video doorbell and two-way audio connects wirelessly to a smartphone app so you can screen visitors or tell the delivery guy where to leave the package. There are also motion sensor capabilities for keeping tabs on the area around your front stoop.
Find it: Ring.com
10. BBQ Bruce Handrail Grill; $82
If your home is in a high rise but you’re unwilling to give up on grilling, get this super space-saving flower pot-style grill that attaches to a balcony handrail.
Find it: Connox.com
11. Breville Personal Pie Maker; $150
You might want to give this gift a little early so the recipient can bake some individual pies for this year’s holiday gathering. The four 4” diameter pies take only about eight minutes to bake, and the cooking plate easily wipes clean. You can start dreaming up innovative pie varieties now.
Find it: Williams-Sonoma.com
No matter the age of your home, Intel® RealSense™ technologies will innovate even the oldest abode by turning it into a virtual space for immersive video chat via 3D camera. Learn more here: intel.com