With a boom in smart technology and accompanying gadgets, there are opportunities to make a mom’s life easier, to connect with your kids, or to simply offer some peace of mind. Knowing what kinds of smart technology are out there, what they do, and what’s worth the money is a start – but it all comes down to choosing the tech that’s most useful for you.
1. Smart Tech for Your Home
Smart tech can save you money and time by constantly keeping track of your home’s needs for you. Sensors can keep track of temperature, water leaks, doors, windows, lights, and more. These devices will end up saving you energy —both your house’s and your own—by offering the highest energy efficiency and removing the worry about lights left on or a garage door left open.
Smart light bulbs are a great idea because you can program them to turn on and off at certain times, lighting the way for your return home or keeping would-be intruders confused when you leave town. Some act automatically, similarly to motion detectors, turning on when you or your kids enter the room, cutting down on energy costs by keeping empty rooms dark. Some smart bulbs can also reduce blue light at night, helping you and your kids get better sleep —which in turn helps them to perform better at school.
Smart thermostats, in particular, can result in greater savings on your energy bill each month by automatically regulating the temperature in your home. Similarly to smart lights, you can program these thermostats to turn on just before you arrive home and turn down after you leave. Some can adjust automatically depending on room activity (after all, active kids generate their own heat). You can also change the temperature from anywhere using an app on your phone.
And imagine being able to detect problems with your major appliances before they break, saving you expensive repairs or replacement costs – that’s what smart appliances like refrigerators or washing machines can do these days. They’ll just email you when they need something new.
2. Smart Tech for Convenience
You know what it’s like in the morning—you leave the house in a rush and wonder if you left the coffee maker on or forgot to turn the curling iron off. Smart plugs allow you to turn small devices on and off remotely, and they can give you the power to cut off your kids’ TV time without even being in the room.
Even kitchen appliances are getting smarter. The smart fridge that can email you when there’s a problem can also tell you when to pick up more butter or when the milk is getting old. While a smart plug can let you turn on your slow cooker remotely, there are smart slow cookers that allow you to regulate temperature and cook time from your phone.
Smart speakers like Alexa, Amazon Echo, or Google Assistant can connect with your other smart devices and offer a convenient, hands-free way to make calls, find out what the weather’s going to be like later that day, get recipes, play favorite songs, and give important calendar reminders for playdates, soccer practice, school events, and tests. They can even entertain your kids with games and silly question-and-answer sessions.
3. Smart Tech for Safety
Creating a safer home is a stress reliever of the best kind. Smart cameras can be connected to other smart home devices, such as smart locks, recognizing you and your family members to let you into the house without the need to dig for your keys. They can also be connected to doorbells to let you easily see who’s outside. If you’re not home, the doorbell can send you an email so you can remotely view the visitor. This is particularly useful when you leave older children home alone—now you know who’s coming and going.
Motion sensors let you know when someone enters or exits your home, which is particularly useful to parents of small children who are testing their boundaries and seeking an adventure in the great outdoors. These sensors can be set to ignore the comings and goings of pets or to include them if they’re supposed to be indoor-only animals.
For parents of newborns, smart technology can help ease the terrible fear that comes with the potential of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. Smart items like the Owlet or the Mimo improve upon the traditional baby monitor by using sensors to measure important life-saving information. The Owlet uses a sock to measure heart rate and pulse oximetry, and the Mimo uses a onesie to keep track of breathing and body position, sending alerts to your phone. Mattress monitors offer similar functions, sending alarms when no movement is detected for a set amount of time.
The choices for smart technology devices only continue to grow, offering lots of ways to help you free up more time in your day – giving you more priceless time with your kids.
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