Gifts for a Connected Home

Staples can help make any home a Connected Home. Smart plugs, door locks, and smart speakers are easy to set up, magical to use and make great gifts. Before you buy, find out what ecosystems you need to have them work in. There’s Google Home with Google Assistant and Amazon Echo with Alexa, which has just been released in Canada. Many devices will play nicely with these standards and they make great gifts for tech-savvy friends and family.

Brighten up someone’s life during the holidays with the Philips Hue Wi-Fi lighting system. Starter kits with two white bulbs and a bridge to hook them into your home network start at just $89.99. Want a little colour? Add a Philips Hue Colour Ambiance Wireless Light Bulb to the mix – they can display any of 16 million colours. You can change colours, dim, and power them on and off using an app on any iPhone or Android smartphone—you can even use voice commands! The Philips Hue system features a range of lamps, lights, and LED strips. This means that the possibilities are endless and you can always add more, making Philips Hue a great gift item.

Know someone who has a lot of traffic going in and out of their front door? An August Lock might be the perfect gift. The August Lock auto-locks behind you for peace of mind and automatically unlocks as you approach. You can create virtual keys for family and guests so you’ll never have to worry about kids forgetting their keys again with this system installed. For total security around the home, inside and out, look at the NETGEAR Arlo Pro Security System. Get notifications directly to your smartphone and watch the security video, stored conveniently in the cloud. Best of all, it uses rechargeable batteries so you don’t need to worry about tripping over wires. Do you know someone who travels a lot or owns a cottage or cabin? Give them the gift of peace of mind with the D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor. This handy sensor will send an alert directly to a connected smartphone the second it senses any moisture. No more flooded basements or utility rooms.

If those devices weren’t exciting enough, control them all with a smart speaker from Amazon or Google. These amazing speakers not only play music, but they also listen for voice commands to control Connected Home devices. Connect music services like Spotify and simply ask the Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker to play some Sinatra while dinner is cooking. Have the Amazon Echo read out recipes and even set a timer to remind everyone when the meal is ready in the oven. And finally, ask Google to dim the lights in the dining room – all without lifting a finger.
The times we live in.

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