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Archive for December, 2017

4 Ways to Create the Perfect Smart Apartment

Name a household appliance, and chances are there’s a smart version of it. Whether it’s a security system, lightbulb, thermostat or refrigerator, these internet-connected objects are continuing to evolve as adoption becomes more widespread.

In a growing technology hub like downtown Columbus, people are outfitting their homes with smart devices in an effort to make their lives easier, safer and more efficient. But when you’re renting an apartment, there’s only so much you’re able to modify.

If you’re looking to create your own smart apartment in Columbus, here are a few ways to go about it.

 

  1. Find Installation-Free Devices

Installing new locks, thermostats and electrical outlets in your apartment may not be permitted, but there’s a simple solution – plug-and-play smart devices, or technology that can be simply and near-instantly set up. Gadgets in this category include smart assistants like Amazon Echo, smart cameras like Netgear’s Arlo Pro and smart plugs like Belkin’s WeMo that can automate your lamps and appliances.

Sometimes, a plug isn’t even required! Smart door locks such as the August Smart Lock can be placed over an existing deadbolt. Instead of swapping out light switches, smart lightbulbs like the Phillips Hue offer rental-friendly screw-ins.

 

  1. Cable Who?

If you live in a downtown Columbus apartment, there’s no shortage of available entertainment technology. Most commonly found in smart TVs and streaming sticks, these devices all but eliminate the need for cable by streaming your favorite shows and movies on-demand – allowing you to splurge a bit more on speedier internet.

Smart streaming devices include Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

 

  1. Smarten Up Your Kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most common room in your apartment to get smart devices. While you may not be able to swap out stuff like a refrigerator, there are several things that will make cooking much easier.

Amazon’s Dash Wand allows you to scan items in your kitchen and add them to your shopping list, while also synching with Alexa to read recipes, convert measurements and even order things right to your

doorstep.

Certain Crock Pots now come equipped with WeMo, allowing you to adjust cooking settings from a smartphone app, no matter where you are. You can also remotely check the cook-time or temperature of your food, and even change your cook settings.

For health-conscious renters, there will soon be products like SmartPlate ­– which offers a dish equipped with mini cameras and weight sensors to figure out what you’re eating, estimate the number of calories in your meal and suggest the proper proportions in alignment with your diet.

 

  1. Streamline Your Smart Devices

Managing all these smart devices in your Columbus apartment might get a little tricky. If that’s the case, then apps such as Apple Home can help you streamline this connected technology in one, easy-to-manage place.

The app allows you to use Siri voice commands to control your products, and make nuanced commands that only control certain devices. For example, saying “Good Night” can turn off your lights and/or TV and close your blinds.

The only thing to keep in mind for things like Home is that your devices must be compatible with them in order to be effective.