Tech expert Carley Knobloch knows all about having a smart home – one that’s equipped with technology to make lighting, heating, and security decisions via smartphone.
“All of a sudden, you can talk to your house and your house can talk to you,” says the frequent “The Today Show” guest and HGTV’s smart home expert. “You can ask it all kinds of things. There’s a robot living in your home. It’s too irresistible.”
Knobloch calls voice assistance a “delightful” product that doesn’t intimidate consumers. Tech has made her life easier, too. Her LiftMaster connected garage door opener alerts her, after 10 minutes, if she or a family member forgot to the close the garage. She can open and close the door remotely and says like other smart home tech, it gives her peace of mind.
“People want to make sure their home is as safe as possible for the people in it and the things in it,” says Knobloch, who has a large following on social media and her blog, CarleyK.com.
She’s impressed with Ring.com, a camera system that records video and notifies homeowners of who’s at their door, and locks from August that allow consumers to lock and unlock doors remotely and can give digital keys to guests.
Convenience matters too. For example, the Nest.com thermostat allows consumers to remotely control their air conditioning and heating, saving time and money. “It’s going to train you to use less and save money,” says Knobloch. “It’s almost like a gamification of your energy bill.”
She likes her home’s high-tech lighting system, especially since the different smart systems pair together. For example, she programmed a “goodnight” button that, when pushed, locks all the doors, lowers the smart shades, and turns off all the designated lights.
“The whole house shuts down,” she says. “All of those systems are connected and work together.”
No matter what devices you get, set solid passwords with two-factor authentication. And while great marketing makes us all want to buy the latest tech tools, some gadgets are better than others. Knobloch’s guideline is simple: “Look for tech that solves a problem for you.”
Kristen Castillo, [email protected]