According to the “2015 State of the Smart Home Report” published by Icontrol Networks, 90 percent of consumers say security is one of the top reasons to buy smart home technologies. For people who live alone, smart products can play an especially important role in increasing their safety and security while living alone — but they can also make everyday tasks more convenient and fun.
If you live by yourself, take a look at these smart home technologies. We’ve found five great gadgets that let you do everything from turn off your appliances to feed your pets — all from your connected device.
1. SkyBell Smart Video Doorbell
Seeing who is at your front door before you open it can give you valuable peace of mind, particularly when you live alone. The SkyBell is a smart doorbell that lets you see, hear, and talk with your visitor via your smartphone — whether you are at home or away. It is motion activated, so even if someone doesn’t ring the doorbell you’ll know they are there. SkyBell is equipped with color night video and comes with free video recording, and multiple users can connect to it and receive doorbell alerts.
When connected to the WeMo app, the WeMo Light Switch allows you to use your smartphone to manage your home’s lighting. Among other benefits, this means you can turn on lights remotely so you don’t come home to a dark house, create the illusion that someone is home with you, or make it seem as though your home is occupied when you’re away.
With the WeMo Light Switch you can also create customized schedules that turn your lights on and off at specified times, or set them to respond to the sunrise and sunset. The light switch also works with If This Then That (IFTTT) technology. Using IFTTT, you can write “recipes” that connect the WeMo Light Switch with various apps and devices to perform a variety of custom tasks.
Pets can be wonderful companions, but ensuring they get fed on time can be tricky when you live by yourself. Fortunately, there’s Feed and Go — a smart pet feeder that dispenses everything from food and treats to medicine. With Feed and Go you can use your smartphone to schedule your pet’s feedings in advance and receive a text message when they’re about to be fed or have just finished their food. What’s more, Feed and Go comes equipped with a webcam and allows you to record a personalized voice message for your pet.
Leaving the house and forgetting to turn an appliance off wastes energy — and it’s potentially dangerous. If you live by yourself, there’s no household member to correct the problem, which is one reason to consider getting the Insteon On/Off Outlet. It’s a remote control electoral outlet that allows you to control small appliances via your smartphone or tablet, from an Insteon keypad or remote, or even from an Apple Watch. With the Insteon On/Off Outlet you can do things like create schedules for your small appliances and receive alerts about outlet use. For added convenience, you can manage the upper and lower outlets independently — controlling two appliances with just one smart outlet.
Cooking for one can be a hassle, but not with the Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker. This state-of-the-art slow cooker syncs with the WeMo app and prepares an amazing meal while you’re at work. Using your smartphone, you can monitor cooking time, adjust the slow cooker’s temperature, and turn it on or off. When your food is cooked, the Crock-Pot sends you a notification and automatically switches to the warm setting to keep your meal at serving temperature until you get home.
Living alone can be safer, more convenient, and more fun when you integrate one or more of these smart devices into your home. For additional security, consider getting a monitored home security system.
Written by Alexia Chianis
Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more