New Home Gadgets for 2014 – A new home presents new opportunities, and an old home can always be reinvented. Today, some of the most exciting trends in home design and technology are happening in connectivity, in the way we connect with our homes and the devices within it. These trends in new home gadgets for 2014 include connected light bulbs, door locks and thermostats, plus advanced vacuum technology for keeping your pride and joy clean and presentable. Enjoy the list, here’s to finding some inspiration to celebrate your new home or reinvent the old.
The new DC65 cleans better than any other vacuum across carpets and hard floors.
August Smart Lock
As a technology, the lock and key has changed little over the years. It hasn’t needed to– it’s simple, safe and effective. That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon, and the people at August Smart Lock have created a pretty amazing system for keeping your house safe and accessible to those you trust. August Smart Lock uses a battery-powered interior lock mechanism that connects to your wireless network for remote access and usage info. It connects to standard deadbolt systems, meaning your current set of keys will work with it and it appears like a normal lock from the street. Despite the key slot, you won’t need your keys when using August. This system recognizes your smartphone when you approach and unlocks your door automatically. You can send access invites to friends, contractors, dog walkers and more so they can enter your home using their smartphones. Finally, anyone who enters or exits your home will be logged by August, so you know when the contractor is done for the day and the dog walker has returned your pooch to his perch. It’s a pretty amazing little revolution in home security, and it’s available for pre-order for $199.
August Smart Lock| Gallery
Windowfarms Indoor Garden
Not every house has the yard space for a garden. Fewer still have the weather to raise plants year-round. With the Windowfarms hydroponic garden, a sunny window can be the perfect garden plot, a chance to raise healthy herbs, greens and veggies indoors. Windowfarms use hydroponic and vertical growing technologies to raise full, fast-growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution. A reservoir at the base pumps this nutrient solution to a series of hanging planters that allows the solution to filter through from one plant to the next. The result is an autonomous garden system that uses science to produce greens without taking up space. Windowfarms start at $199 for a single-column kit, including plant food and seedlings for a quick start to your futuristic indoor garden.
Windowfarms Indoor Garden | Gallery
Dyson DC65 Upright Vacuum
Like the proud owner of a classic car, a new homeowner doesn’t lovingly scrub their new digs because they love to clean. You clean because you’re proud of your new home, the accomplishment behind it and the way it looks to your friends and family alike. With that, a good vacuum isn’t just the mark of a clean, contemporary home, it’s a rite of passage into home ownership. From a tech and design angle, the vacuum of our choice is the Dyson DC65 Upright Vacuum. It has been tested against the current market of upright vacuums on both carpet and hardwood, and it came out on top of all the rest. It’s powerful, flexible, easy to empty and loaded with specialty tools for tough cleaning situations. It’s also a great achievement in design, a striking bit of “functional sculpture” that isn’t an eyesore when left out– it’s a conversation starter.
Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum | Gallery
Tetra Shed Prefab Office
If you wanted a fort as a kid, chances are you’ve dreamed of an outdoor creative office for yourself. I know I have. If you have the space in your yard, and maybe a lack of space indoors, a shed office could be a great solution. When it comes to shed working, few outdoor workspaces are as cool as the Tetra Shed. This prefab office space is built in a bold geometric pattern with windows and doors that close to hide the space within. When fully closed, Tetra Shed looks like an obelisk from outer space — a feature that only adds to its dreamlike appeal. Tetra Shed is designed to provide an enclosed workspace for one person in a back yard or even the deep woods. If you build one in your back yard, you’ll discover just how important that little bit of space is between work and home. I first covered the Tetra Shed back in 2011, and I’m happy to report that it is now available for shed working dreamers.
Tetra Shed Prefab Office | Gallery
Nest Protect Smoke Detector
The traditional smoke detector is a great example of technology gone wrong. In most environments, smoke detectors are an annoyance– they only go off when they’re low on battery or there’s a little flare up in the kitchen. These false positives tend to ruin the smoke detector’s utility. To change that, the people at Nest created the Nest Protect, a smart smoke detector that monitors smoke and other harmful gasses and provides clear, spoken alerts and a message to your mobile device. If there’s a hazard in the house, Nest Protect will alert you of its presence whether you’re at home or far away. It helps keep you and your family safe, and it does so without the annoying late night battery-beeps and alarming false positives.
Nest Protect Smoke Detector | Gallery
Philips Hue Home Lighting
The Philips Hue personal wireless lighting system features LED bulbs that connect to your wireless network for app control from a mobile device at home or on the road. You can change color tones, set on/off timers and even tell the bulbs to illuminate as you approach and dim as you depart. Before you write it off as a gimmicky product, consider how it would exist in your new home. When your mobile alarm goes off in the morning, the Philips Hue bulbs can illuminate gently to help you out of bed. If you’re running late at the end of the night but don’t want to advertise that your house is empty, turn on your interior lights from your mobile phone. On a date night with your better half, you can set the mood on your interior lights on a whim, all without leaving the sofa. There are a wide range of applications for the Philips Hue bulbs, to the point that connected light bulbs are certainly the thing of the future.
Philips Hue Home Lighting | Gallery
Netatmo Home Weather System
If your local weather report never seems accurate, the Netatmo Home Weather System is a healthy alternative. Speaking of health, it isn’t just designed to provide an accurate picture of outdoor weather, but also the air quality inside your home. The Netatmo Home Weather System includes two devices, one for outdoors and one inside, to track the conditions in your own living environment. If your house could use some ventilation, Netatmo will tell you. If a sudden storm is quickly approaching, Netatmo will tell you that too. If there’s a perfect time to open the windows and run an efficient indoor climate, this system will tell you. It’s a smart, connected weather system that syncs with your mobile device to give you an accurate read on what’s going on in your home environment.
Netatmo Home Weather System | Gallery
Nest Smart Thermostat
One of the first home gadgets to get the connected treatment was the thermostat, specifically the Nest Smart Thermostat. The brainchild of ex-Apple designer Tony Fadell, the Nest thermostat uses high design, simple controls and connected technology to provide smart control of your home environment. It learns your use patterns — commuting schedule, sleep schedules, etc — and turns your home heating and cooling off an on based on your comfort. It is designed to save you money by using the most efficient heating/cooling cycles based on your usage, a big improvement over traditional “dumb” thermostats. By doing so, Nest aims to lower your heating and cooling bills by 20%, quickly covering the cost of a unit upon first purchase.
Nest Smart Thermostat | Gallery
Airocide Air Purifier
Who knew– you can keep your air clean and pure without an ugly black tower in the middle of your room ruining the feng shui. The Airocide Air Purifier is a high-design, high tech air purifier built to keep your breathing air safe and clean. It does so in ultimate style, standing like a piece of contemporary art for your living room. It can be placed on a stand or on a table, looking like a silent speaker more than an air purifier. It works as good as it looks, too — it removes close to 100% of the common pathogens in a home from bacteria to mold to pollen and more. It’s a bit on the pricy side at $799, but the value in clean, breathable air could pay for itself in the future.
Airocide Air Purifier | Gallery
Canary Home Security Device
This little device is a magic bullet for home security. Canary a compact home security system that includes an HD camera, a microphone, a motion detection system and night vision to view your home environment and send alerts directly to your mobile device. Want to check in on the dogs? Want to make sure the repair contractor isn’t snooping? Is there movement in your home when you’re not there? Canary is designed to analyze and report disturbances in your home so you know about it right away. You can then view your home directly from Canary’s camera, using one or multiple devices around your home. It’s a pretty revolutionary system, providing a new kind of connection with your home while you’re away. It puts you in charge, letting you make the decisions on how to handle unexpected home events.
Canary Home Security Device | Gallery
New Home Gadgets 2014
The new DC65 cleans better than any other vacuum across carpets and hard floors.