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What is a Smart Home? What is Zoe? And What Are the Latest Smart Home Devices?

smart home illustrationIn a recent post, I essentially answered the question “What is a Smart Home?” by introducing, Zoe, an amazing hub that brings all your smart home technologies together. According to an article in, Zoe is being joined by more smart home gadgets and goodies every day. Homeowners can find everything from connected bottle openers to automated window blinds, and keyless locks. While these technologies can undoubtedly make life easier, how’s a non-techie like me supposed to know where to get started?
Here’s what I learned in the article: smart home technologies don’t need to be overwhelming. Curbed discussed the onslaught of these technologies with tech mavens from Nest, Amazon, and more. Some excerpts:
“Studies show that the most-adopted smart home products are the ones that solve real needs,” explained Canary co-founder & Chief Design Officer Jon Troutman. “A lot of people think of ‘smart home’ as synonymous with home automation—lights that turn on at certain hours, window shades programmed to go up or down. But those sorts of products aren’t necessarily the most helpful or meaningful.”
A few examples:

  1. The tech pro’s favorite smart home product is the Amazon Echo and its Alexa voice control. Besides controlling other connected devices, Echo can be asked for information, music, and news. This might be a good place to start.
  1. Probably the most popular smart home niche is home security. Security cameras like Canary, the Nest Cam, and Nest Outdoorare designed to send homeowners custom alerts when people are in or around their home. There’s also IFTTT designed to integrate your security by turning on a porch light when someone is in your backyard at night. How about products like a texting smoke detector or connected baby monitor?
  1. Then there’s comfort to consider. Smart thermostats like the Nestand Ecobee can be programmed to maintain a stable temperature in your home. You can automate your window blinds with FlipFlic, monitor the air in your home with Awair or sleep better thanks to the Sleep Number C2
  1. Homeowners looking for convenience are in luck. Check out these Sonos speakers, the best way to get music over Wi-Fi. Or connected light bulbs like the Philips Hueline or Lifx; allowing you to control lighting color and intensity from your smartphone. There are also keyless locks and connected doorbells to consider by companies like August and Ring.

I hope this information is helpful – especially if you were still wondering “What is a Smart Home?” or curious about the latest devices. I’d love to get your input on smart home technology and how it has helped you, products you’ve discovered that make your life easier, and so on. You can always send your comments about my blog posts directly to me at In fact, use that email to contact me if you’re considering buying or selling a home or estate in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. I’m here to help.

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