Whether school has already started, or you’re patiently waiting for the Labor Day weekend to end, it’s time to add a few home automation upgrades to your school-year shopping list. It’s no secret that smart home products have been spiked in popularity over the past couple of years, but now there are tools that will help make day-to-day life easier, sweeter, and safer, especially during the busy school year.
Smart Home Hubs
First things first, make sure your home is equipped with a smart home hub. This will not only let you control all of your home automation devices but can also be used as a learning tool. Smart home hubs use a voice-controlled digital assistant to perform simple tasks and feature thousands of commands. Newer smart hubs have more features and upgrades that make them student-friendly and an ideal homework tool. The Amazon Echo and Google Home are great examples of smart home hubs that won’t break your bank—both cost roughly $100.
Your kids can listen to radio stations, play fun games, listen to audiobooks, and get the answers to any classroom question they might have. Interacting with a digital assistant can encourage kids to spend more time learning while helping them articulate their questions clearly. They also make great alarm clocks, a school day essential in every household. If you have younger kids, smart hubs have special versions, too, that limit your child’s access to ordering products online and answer commands with fun kid-appropriate responses.
Smart Security Cameras
Home security cameras can do more than simply record a break-in. Today’s smart home cameras can use AI-powered facial recognition systems to recognize your family members, and they can use that data for a number of useful alert features.
If your kids are old enough to take the bus by themselves, it can still be a nerve-wracking experience when they come home before you’re home from work. Smart security cameras let you program an alert straight to your phone so you know exactly when your children are safe and sound inside. You can even use a two-way talk feature to say hi or ask about their day.
Smart locks help to keep your family safe and give younger household members more independence without sacrificing your family’s well-being. These devices can easily replace almost any deadbolt system, meaning installation can be quick and relatively simple. You can control smart locks from your smartphone, eliminating the need for a key. There are several options to choose from when it comes to picking out the right device for you and your family. Fingerprint scanners, simple four-digit keypads, or even smart locks that calculate your proximity to home via GPS are just some of the choices you can pick. Keyless entry means you won’t have to worry about a lost key or whether your kids can get inside after school or sports practice–and they can even auto-lock in the morning in case your kids forget when they rush to the bus.
A GPS tracker is a simple and lightweight way to send your kids off for school in the morning with less risk. Often dubbed “kid trackers,” these devices are a great failsafe option for parents with young children. Almost all GPS trackers offer live updates with mapping apps, which lets you see where your kids are at any time, from anywhere. Today’s best kid trackers have expanded the technology with geofencing functions. Geofencing allows you to set up virtual boundaries using an included mapping app to send you automatic alerts if your child crosses the boundary. You can set up geofences around your child’s school or your neighborhood, and most devices have a battery life of a few days.
Using a smart plug can help you with both safety and parenting. You can plug any regular device into a smart plug and then control the power right from your smartphone. Using one in the bathroom can save you from rushed kids leaving hair styling tools or a lamp on and you can also make sure personal heaters are off in the winter. Use smart plugs to regulate TV or video game times by setting up timers for when devices have to shut off. If your kid has trouble shutting off distractions and studying, you can set a schedule for them of daily study times while other devices stay shut off. Since these plugs control anything plugged into them, it’s an easy way to fit your home into the smart home category without breaking the bank.
The back-to-school transition can be tough for everyone in the family, but it doesn’t have to be. Tech tools like these can simplify everyday tasks and make life a little easier this fall. These devices will help your family stay safe and encourage productive, and happy, school days. If you’re looking to move, buy or sell be sure to stay up to date with our blog or check out our step-by-step guides on our website.