10 Interesting Internet of Things Devices
Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to everyday objects that are connected to the Internet to send and receive data, and can be controlled by a web interface or mobile device (usually via an app). There are many IoT devices out there, some useful, others not so much. We’ve put together some of our most interesting finds (in no particular order).
When talking about internet of things devices, it makes sense to start with Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant. Alexa is not a device, it’s a program that runs on several Amazon products, as well as integrates with other third party devices and apps. Alexa is most commonly used on Amazon’s Echo. Alexa is similar to the assistant you have on your iPhone (Siri) or Android (Google Assistant). Simply say “Alexa” and she starts listening for your command. There are numerous commands you can give Alexa and integrations with other IoT products.
Personally, these are one of my favourite things to buy people as gifts. The Tile is…well…a tile that you can attach to various things you feel you’re going to misplace. Put one on your keys, one in your wallet, your car in a busy parking lot, your bike, your TV remote, your phone etc. Many websites suggest you can put this tracker on your pets as well, but bear in mind the Tile Mate/Slim works to a range of 100 feet, the Tile Pro/Style is waterproof and works up to 200 feet, so if you’re wanting to use it for Fido, make sure you get the Pro/Style and understand you’ll need to be within range for it to work.
Both the Tile Mate/Slim and the Tile Pro/Style allow you to track the Tile using an iOS or Android app and you can also set a sound for the Tile to play when you’re trying to locate something (great for the person who constantly has their phone on silent or is always losing the remote in the couch cushions).
Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug
Ever leave the house and wonder if you forgot to turn off the light in the living room, or turn off your hair straightener? The Smart Wi-Fi plug allows you to check in on your devices and turn them on or off remotely from an app on your phone, or set timers for the plugs to turn off or on at specific times. The Kasa Smart WiFi plug also integrates with Alexa – you can walk into a room and say “Alexa, turn on living room light” and voila!
Do you worry about the quality of your water and what’s in it? The Ecomo Fount is a universal adapter for your sink that will test the pH, chemicals, minerals/impurities, turbidity and temperature of your water. There’s a red/yellow/green light system on the nozzle itself to tell you, in real time, whether or not your water is good, and has an adjustable toggle filter to get better filtration of your water. The Ecomo Fount sends all water quality data to your phone where you can track results and share with neighbours.
Upright GO Posture Trainer
As I’m sitting here writing this blog, I realize I can definitely benefit from this wearable device. The Upright GO is a small device that you wear on your back (not the most fashionable if you’re wearing a low back shirt or dress though) which will provide a small, but noticeable, vibration if you start to slouch. The whole point of this device is to train you to sit up straight. Note the Upright GO attaches with adhesive pads included with the device – this may be uncomfortable for those with back hair – but hey, might also be even more reminder to sit up straight too!
Here’s how it works.
Philips Hue Lightbulbs
I was first blown away by these at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party where he had his Hue lightbulbs syncing to the beat of the music. It really added a neat effect to the atmosphere.
The Philips Hue lightbulbs can sync with both music and movies using third party apps. Aside from the third party apps for music and movies, the Philips Hue’s free app for iOS and Android devices allows you to dim the lights, set timers and even set the lights to slowly come on when the sun rises.
Hidrate Spark Water Bottle
Are you getting your 8 glasses of water a day? I know I’m definitely not (unless we count the water added to coffee). The Hidrate Spark is a water bottle that tracks how much water you drink and will light up if you haven’t had a sip in a while. For some, having constant reminders on your other devices may already stress you out and having a bottle blink at you to drink water might not be the best option. For others, this is a great reminder to help you make sure you drink the recommended amount of H2O in a day. The app for the Spark will take into account your height, weight, age and activity level to help you determine the right amount of water you should be consuming in a day. If your water intake is worth the $55USD cost for this bottle, the reviews have been positive and it’s a slick looking design.
Not only is this a clever name for a wireless meat thermometer, but it’s also a clever device. The Meater is a probe you put in your meat when cooking. From the app on a mobile device you set the type of meat you’re cooking, and how well you want it done and the app will alert you when your meat is ready and cooked to the desired level.
The June Oven
Is my inability to follow cooking instructions worth it for a $1,500 tabletop oven ($1,995 for the built-in model) that will figure it out for me? Maybe. The June Oven knows how to automatically cook 60 foods and will recognize 23 foods using the internal cameras.
Any cook will know that it’s not just cooking time that makes a meal tasty, this oven won’t braise or spice your dishes, but it will take away any guess work about cook times. The thermometer in The June cooks your dish to the level you set it to, no more taking out the meat thermometer to make sure you’re not giving your family their meal with a side of food poisoning.
The June Oven has a feature that includes an exterior that stays safe to the touch. Good for curious kiddos and for keeping your kitchen from heating up in the summer.
Crock-Pot Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are great, but what happens when you have a recipe that calls for turning down the heat or the cook time takes less time than you’ll be out of the house? Enter the Wifi enabled Crock-Pot. This is basically like any other Crock-Pot, but with the ability to adjust the temperature, schedule your cook time, adjust the cook time and get a notification on your phone once your meal is complete!