Deck the halls with boughs of holly—and brand-new tech that makes you jolly
It’s begun. Every commercial break includes at least one family decked out in head-to-toe tartan, the grocery aisles have been overtaken by snowmen and the red coffee cups have arrived—the holiday season is upon us. With retailers vying for shoppers, the deals are about to start flying off the shelves, or more likely, into your inbox.
The last year and a half has had many of us rethinking—and rearranging—our home to better accommodate remote work and schooling. Many of the latest home technology answers have helped make our homes an adaptable spot to simultaneously live and work.
As those enticing emails emerge, it’s best to be prepared and know what you want before you impulse buy your way through your shopping budget. Here are some items to consider adding to your shopping cart this Cyber Monday to either turn your home into a tech paradise or to become everyone’s favorite tech gift-giver this holiday season.
Cyber Monday home tech Tips
- Up your home’s IQ with smart appliances
- Behold the power of smarter cooking
- Smarter wearables for a healthier body
- Cordless and care-free listening
- Brighten up your video calls
- Look for discounts on portable and/or smart speakers
Up your home’s IQ with smart appliances
From security systems you can control with your phone to Wi-Fi enabled refrigerators, you can have your home running in tip-top shape at all times. Smart gadgets and appliances are connected to the internet through your home’s Wi-Fi and can usually be controlled from your phone from wherever you are.
Watch out for smart gadgets equipped with top-of-the-line safety features, such as smoke detectors that alert you where the smoke is coming from, motion detectors with night vision, auto-locks, turn your lights on when you’re driving home and more. You can even find internet-connected cameras to keep an eye on your home and your pets while you’re away.
Or if you’re just looking to make your life a little easier, there are plenty of smart gadgets for that. The latest refrigerators can remind you when you’re low on milk before you’re stuck eating dry cereal one morning. Learning thermostats can respond to the weather report when the temperature suddenly drops and adjust the temperature accordingly. And if you don’t have a smart speaker by now, ready to answer your every muttered question, then you’re probably the only person without one on your block.
Behold the power of smarter cooking
If you’re looking to speed up and simplify your cooking, you might want to invest in one of several smart and fast cooking pots that have become popular in the last year. These new breed of kitchen appliances combine the convection-style heating of an oven with the speed associated with a microwave. The counter-top devices often have the ability to pressure-cook, steam, slow cook or even air-fry (think deep frying without all the grease) and have a digital interface chock-full of recipes and specialty functions, like ‘de-frost’ and ‘entertain your in-laws’.
Another new cooking gadget that’s taking kitchens by storm are immersion cookers, also known as sous vide. These devices can cook food to a specific temperature in a water bath every single time. The smart version of these immersion cookers can start at a set time or through an app on your phone. If you’d like a perfect medium rare steak, for example, you can cook it to the exact temperature in the water bath, then simply sear it when you get home for steakhouse-quality results.
Smarter wearables for a healthier body
Wearable technologies offer new insights into our health and well-being and let you leverage that data for your own benefit. With the latest generation of activity monitors and smart watches you can track your steps while at the office, gauge your oxygen levels while you sleep, and receive detailed reports on your workouts. The gadgets can pair with your phone, and record their insights into graphs, charts and other visualization tools.
Cordless and care-free listening
Who even uses wires anymore? Free yourself from tangling cords with one of the many cordless earphones. Blue-tooth technology lets headphones sync to your phones and tablets, so they’re always connected and ready to go. Active athletes can enjoy wrap-around earphones that are sweat- and water-resistant.
You can opt for many of the sleek and simple earbuds for hands-free calling. These can connect to your phone, or your computer for your Monday morning team video calls. And wrap-around headphones can also be paired with your smart TV, so you can watch the game late into the night at full volume without disrupting your partner/neighbor/dog.
Fortunately, Bluetooth headphones have been on the market long enough now that prices have dropped, and you should be able to find even deeper discounts at this time of year.
Brighten up your video calls
Look your best in all those meetings your attending from home with a ring light. This simple lighting tool is a bit low tech, but will have you looking your best in high-def. These lights consist of a circle of bulbs that you place facing you, from behind your computer’s camera. The shape and warmth of the lights makes your face glow and creates an attractive reflection in your eyes.
Look for discounts on portable and/or smart speakers
Cooking in the kitchen, sitting out on your back porch or lounging in the living room? Bring the tunes everywhere. All the latest smart speakers come with voice command features. You can be mid-marinade with your hands dripping in sauce and keep DJ’ing your favorite tunes. Just want to turn up the volume on your TV, but you're too tired to find the remote? Your wish is your smart speaker’s command.
These smart speakers have evolved to become the hub of your home, able to connect to lights, ovens and all the other smart gadgets we’ve mentioned. So if you’ve taken to making sourdough bread over the pandemic, you can get the oven preheated while your wrist deep in dough.
Home is more important than ever, and it seems like we will continue our remote work ways for the foreseeable future. But by snagging some of these tech deals, you can make your home a hands-free, cord-free, stress-free haven.
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