Smart devices for the home will be on the top of many lists if they aren’t already installed in your home. That’s why we’re bringing some extra gift ideas to Global News Tech Talk today. Not only are they great gifts on their own, but they complement the ones already in your home so well. We’re featuring some great ideas from Nanoleaf, TP-Link, Amazon, and Belkin!
Here’s the rundown for all these great smarter home extra ideas as featured on Global News Tech Talk for Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
Nanoleaf is an interesting product that most certainly has a wide audience. Not only can adults use them for a splash of colour in a dull space, but gamers and kids love them because they let them make a space all their own. First up is the Nanoleaf Rhythm Edition which uses triangular panels. To its namesake, the Rhythm Edition has the ability to “transforms your favourite songs into dancing symphonies of colour and light” thanks to a built-in audio sensor. It retails for $249 CAD for the 9-panel kit. The Nanoleaf Canvas Smarter Kit uses square panels that are touch controllable. They mount with no drilling and add some great ambience to any space, from your gaming battle station to your office at work. They also retail for $249 CAD for a kit of 9 panels. Both kits are compatible with voice assistants such as Alexa, Google, and Siri and have other tricks with the companion mobile app, available on iOS and Android.
Since many smart home devices require a smartphone for the best possible experience, it’s a good idea to keep it charged. The Belkin Wireless Charging Stand is an attractive option for any smartphone that supports wireless charging. Belkin’s stand has a Boost Charge feature that allows it to safely deliver up to 7.5W of power wirelessly to a compatible device, giving you a faster wireless charging experience. The large coils on the stand allow it to charge your phone standing up or on its side, so you can watch movies or conference with your friends while it’s juicing up. The Belkin Wireless Charging Stand is well built, comes with its own charger and cord, and retails for $59 US. You should be able to find it at one of your favourite Canadian retailers.
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is one of the latest Alexa powered devices and it is capable of being the brains behind all your smart home gadgets. We’ve found that of all of the voice assistants, Alexa seems to be the most compatible, which allows you to connect everything from the aforementioned Nanoleaf kits to smart light switches and bulbs. One of the cooler tricks is that because it has a screen, you can use it to see exactly what your compatible security cameras are looking at. The Amazon Echo Show 8 is currently on promotion for $89 CAD.
One idea that’s a good one, but we didn’t show off, was the TP-Link Powerline Adapter Kit. The kit gives devices with an ethernet connection the ability to access a more reliable and faster connection in the home. Just plug one unit near your router or network switch and the other unit near your device, and connect with an ethernet cable. This is useful for supercharging mesh networks, where a single station may not be getting the best signal, or for gaming systems like your Xbox One, where a low latency connection is preferred. This kit supports AV2000 which gives it speeds of up to 2Gbps, making it great for centralizing a network-attached storage system or NAS. Plus, it doesn’t require drilling or snaking cables. It retails for around $109 CAD.
Do you have any smart home gift ideas to share? Let us know in the comments below!