Friday, December 12, 2014

Best Home Automation Gifts for This Holiday Season

Re-post from last year and all of them still hold true. This year was full of software upgrades and no major hardware upgrades.

Here are three basic heuristics, I followed before choosing a device:
  1. To save money in long term.
  2. To save time, either in short term (monthly electric/gas bill etc ) and long term (doesn't need much maintenance and last's longer). Cell phone app and an open API if applicable.
  3. Excellent features and also uplifts the ambiance of the house.
Nest Learning Thermostat - Clear winner on all three fronts; a must buy !!

Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting - It's expensive but #2 and #3 makes it worth. Also, don't need any holiday lights; just change the colors plus the twitter API makes it awesome tool.


iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies - Saves me tons of time. I have the older model but need to upgrade it sometime next year. No cell phone app though and Max doesn't get thrilled while this is doing its rounds.

Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera - This is my 2013 Xmas gift. I have been using my Mac to watch Max during weekdays from my cell phone but now its time to take the leap. With 130 degree angle coverage, it will cover my whole living room.

Things on wish list:

Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide - It integrates nicely with Nest thermostat and no annoying battery changes for few months.

BOT Home Automation DoorBot- The Doorbell for Smartphones - Well, my existing 20th century door bell is falling apart so I have an excuse to replace it soon.


Liftmaster 828LM Garage Door Opener Internet Gateway - Not too expensive at all. Again, no annoying battery changes every year.

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