One of my favorite things about our annual home and garden issue is that I get to research some of the coolest and newest gadgets that can make our lives a lot easier and definitely more luxurious. Last year I told you about smart thermostats and even an automated dog feeder. This year I’ve picked seven more fun gadgets that I’m sure you’ll love.
Not only is it a powerful Bluetooth-enhanced speaker, the Amazon Echo can be trained to operate quite a few appliances throughout your home, with the help of developers Belkin and Samsung. The crystal-clear voice-recognition software will allow the Echo to do so many things for you, such as read you an audiobook or even tell you the weather forecast. Then, of course, you can use it as a speaker for your TV or computer. (How novel!) ($179.99 exclusively at Amazon.com)
Nest Smoke + CO Alarm
In Florida, not only do we demand a lot out of our air conditioners, we do it in a way that keeps us mindful of rising electricity costs. Instead of turning off your A/C when you leave home and turning it back on when you return, this 8,000 BTU unit can turn on the air at a low fan speed before you return, slowly cranking up the power in the minutes before you arrive. It can even learn your home A/C habits and regulate the temperature of the house on its own. Begone, high electric bills! This one’s a life-saver. ($249 at Home Depot and homedepot.com)
Belkin WeMo Smart Slow Cooker
TrekDesk has found a way to keep people productive and healthy all at once. It’s scientifically proven that walking at least 10,000 steps per day can reduce your cancer rates by as much as 70%. With TrekDesk’s patented treadmill desk, you can keep your laptop, papers, pens and supplies right in front of you — as you walk on your treadmill! Exercise has never been so fun. Answer a few e-mails and soon you’ll notice that you’ve walked a quarter of a mile! Work and exercise have never been so perfectly married. Treadmill not included. ($499 at trekdesk.com)
Egg and Muffin Toaster
Electric Cocktail Shaker
Check out our past fun home gadgets.