Technology has always been full of promise. It sings a siren song of convenience, time-savings, and ease of living. All we have to do is look back into the past by two or three decades to see the massive changes brought into our world by the growth of the internet, cellphones, and other marvelous new technologies.
But what does it take for a piece of technology to transform your life? That’s a tall order, but there are some gadgets out there you can buy today that will make you feel a little closer to the sci-fi future we’ve all been craving.
There are some obvious choices for life-changing gadgets. Your smartphone is one. If you’ve been around long enough to remember the days of dials or old “dumb” phones, then you can still marvel at having maps, email, games, and apps in your pocket. Your internet router is another one. It’s your fast connection to the wider online world.
But let’s look at some fun and useful gadgets that can change your life for the better. Lucky for us, the future is now and we’re living in it.
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect
There are a lot of ways you can ditch your traditional house keys. You can install an affordable keypad deadbolt, or you can look to a higher-tech solution, like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect, August’s top-of-the-line offering.
This lock lets you control access to your house using your smartphone. It can be set to automatically unlock as you approach with your phone on you, and then lock behind you. The August lock attaches to your existing deadbolt, so you don’t have to perform major surgery on your door to get it up and running. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant for voice commands.
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Smoke detectors are necessary safety devices, but they can inadvertently cause a lot of stress, especially when the batteries run down and they start chirping at three in the morning. The Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a much smarter version of an old concept.
The Nest alarm will send you a message on your phone when its batteries are running low, which is way more polite than the frightening beeps you’re used to. When the Nest detects smoke or carbon monoxide, it talks and tells you what’s going on, so you know what is triggering the alarm. It sends off notifications to your phone so you’ll get alerts even if you’re not at home.
iRobot Roomba 980
There are a lot of robot vacuum cleaners out there at various price points, but the iRobot Roomba 980 is the Cadillac of the bunch. This Wi-Fi-enabled cleaning bot can run for up to 120 minutes. An app lets you schedule the vacuum and customize your cleaning preferences. The 980 automatically adjusts for different surfaces, so it will tackle carpets with more gusto than wood floors. Nothing makes you feel like you’re starring in The Jetsons quite like having a robot handle the vacuuming chores.
Not a morning person? Let a gadget help you with that. The Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up light simulates sunrise and sunset to lull you into a more natural sleep cycle. For mornings, the light gradually intensifies, mimicking the sun coming up. Instead of a blaring alarm, you wake up gently to your choice of sounds or music. Don’t worry, though, it still has a touch-activated snooze mode for those days when you want to catch a few more winks.
Roav by Anker DashCam C2
You can’t control what other drivers on the road do, but you can protect yourself in case of an accident by using a dash camera to record your drives. Anker’s Roav DashCam C2 records in HD, has night vision, and uses a wide-angle lens to capture the road.
The dashcam installs on your windshield and loops the video recording, so it will record over old, unneeded footage. A shock activation feature triggers it to start recording when the car is parked. A good dashcam can help save you from a lot of insurance headaches in case of an accident.