Every day we wake up without flying cars overhead and robot butlers is a tragedy.
For decades, we’ve been told that a faster, more exciting, and infinitely more space-age life is just around the corner, but it often feels like finding someone to make good on those promises might just be a pipe dream.
Fortunately, the proliferation in the home automation market is getting us closer to our Jetsons fantasy by the day.
If you’re eager to live in a world where your most mundane daily tasks can be outsourced to robots, then friend, the future is now — check out our votes for the best home automation products on the market.
It should come as no surprise that everything-industry giant Amazon is a frontrunner in the making-your-life-cooler game — these are the people who made it possible to get everything from condoms to kale chips delivered to your front door in under 24 hours, after all.
Now, Amazon has set their sights on the home automation market with the Echo, a sleek countertop device that enables you to play music from the Amazon library and your Pandora account, place Amazon orders, create grocery lists, and even work with more comprehensive home automation systems to control lights and electronics with nothing more than the power of your voice.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having a home in which everything can be controlled with the touch of a button (light switches, after all, are for plebeians), the Insteon system can get you one step closer to living your best life. The system, which works over WiFi and can be controlled through your smartphone, can turn your appliances on and off, provide interior and exterior video monitoring, detect a flood, and even tell you if your freezer isn’t working properly. While automating your whole house isn’t exactly budget friendly, you can piece together this system over time, and really, is there a price too high to live that space king life?
Nest Learning Thermostat
We don’t have specific stats on this, but we’d wager that about 99 percent of relationships break up over one person adjusting the thermostat when their partner has just gotten it to the temperature they like. Luckily, the Nest Learning Thermostat is here to save you from splitsville. Unlike traditional thermostats, the Nest doesn’t have to be programmed — after just a few days, the Nest learns your preferences and starts setting itself for you, helping to avoid excessive energy expenditure and keeping your home at that elusive perfect temperature.
LG Rolling Bot
Do you spend your vacations worrying what’s going on at home while you’re away? For those paranoid about what their pets are getting up to in their absence can now alleviate their fears with the LG Rolling Bot. Once you’ve hooked up this ball-shaped home robot to its smartphone app, you can maneuver it around your house to make sure everything is still in its right place. What’s even better is that it provides you the ability to play with your pets from afar — just turn on the laser pointer mode and entertain your animals for hours.
Kevo Smart Lock
When we’re awoken in the middle of the night, our faces covered in a cold sweat and our pulse racing, there are usually two questions causing our anxiety levels to spike: did I totally forget to prepare something for work tomorrow and was noise from downstairs a burglar intent on murdering me? It will probably be some time before you can outsource that first concern to a robot, but thanks to the Kevo Smart Lock, worrying about whether or not your door is locked is a thing of the past. The Kevo works with both a smartphone app and an electronic fob, so you can unlock the door without scrounging around for your keys and make sure the deadbolt is securely in place from the comfort of your bed.
Across the board, the part of owning or renting a home we dread the most is cleaning it. While there’s always the option of hiring someone to do your dirty work for you, for smaller, day-to-day jobs, the Roomba is an ideal robot companion. Instead of spending hours trying to get dust and dirt out of every corner of your place (spoiler alert: it’s not possible), let Roomba do the work for you; you can even turn her on when you leave for work and return home to a spotless apartment at the end of the day.
Aros Smart Window Air Conditioner
For those of us who don’t have central air in our homes, the Aros Smart Window Air Conditioner is a lifesaver. This beautifully-designed window unit is designed to work with your smartphone, so on those sweltering summer days when you would normally expect to return to an oven-like home, you can have the AC blasting before you even set foot in the door. The Aros even turns off its LED display automatically, so you won’t have a harsh electronic glow illuminating your room when you’re trying to catch some Zs.
We may not be ready to welcome our robot overlords just yet, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let them do a few of our more boring tasks for us while we still have the chance. With just a few additions to your home, you can live an infinitely easier and cooler life in no time.