14 Must-Have Products for the Modern Home
As a builder or homeowner renovating a home or building a new one, there is a sizable list of modern home features for you to consider. Technology has come a long way in recent years and home automation, along with smartphone connectivity, have made all our lives simpler and, frankly, a lot more fun. The smart home should showcase the attributes of innovation, cutting-edge technology, and energy efficiency. This translates into a home that not only serves the homeowner day to day, but also becomes a resale opportunity down the line.
Let’s take a walk through a modern home and check out 14 products that can transform it into a technological marvel.
Inside and Outside Your Home
1. Video Doorbell
If you’re away from home when the doorbell rings, there was no way before to know who was at your doorstep. But now there’s a wide variety of video doorbells available, letting you view your visitor, speak with them, and record footage of anyone who might be attempting to break in. Using Wi-Fi to stream live video to your phone, these devices can offer you video storage in the cloud, motion detection, sirens and even smart locks, so if you want to let your visitor inside, you can. There are too many of these on the market to suggest just one product, but check out PC Magazine’s “Best Video Doorbells for 2019” to select one that meets your needs.
2. Wireless Garage Door Sensor
You may be wondering what’s new here – after all, we’re already used to pushing a button to open and close our garage doors while in our cars. But nowadays, mobile apps will allow you to do this from your smartphone, giving you far greater options – like notifying you if you left the door open and allowing you to shut it from a distance, giving access to individuals you want to let into your garage, and even letting you monitor the garage entrance on a video stream. Postscapes offers a wide range of the “Best WiFi and Bluetooth Smart Garage Door Openers.”
3. Heated Driveways
There’s no question that one of the tasks homeowners hate the most is snow shoveling. Whether they do it themselves or hire a company to do it, just the prospect alone can spark anxiety and exhaustion. Installing radiant heat under the pavers is one way to go, but it’s clearly expensive. You can also consider driveway mats at a reduced cost. Read a discussion of both options on the Total Landscape Care website.
4. Smart Windows
Want to keep your windows clear of blinds and curtains and let the sun stream in, but don’t want your neighbors to be able to see inside? “Smart” or switchable glass gives you the full advantage of sunlight while protecting your privacy as well as saving on energy costs. And how can you clean those windows? Check out Ecovacs Winbot X, a cordless window cleaning feature that reaches all those tough corners, cleaning your windows inside and out without you needing to do the work – and without those annoying streaks.
5. Intelligent Refrigerators
Is your refrigerator crowded with family photos, schedules, and shopping lists? Samsung's Family Hub Fridge offers fridge-front screens that serve all these purposes, as well as notifying you when food is going out of date and giving you a look inside without opening the door. And talking about getting a look inside, another option is to use the FridgeCam, which takes a photo of the contents every time you open the door and sends it to your phone. That means you’ll never forget to pick up that carton of eggs when you’re running low. (Right now, this product is only available in the UK.)
6. But Is Your Food OK?
Has your milk expired? Has your meat spoiled? Up until now, we needed to taste (yuck!) to know for certain. But LinkSquare – a personal handheld spectrometer small enough to fit into your purse – will save you from possible food poisoning when you pass it over the suspect food. And an extra benefit? It will even tell you if money is counterfeit.
7. Dishwashing for the Downsized Household
Do you live in an apartment with no space for a dishwasher? Are you single or empty nesting, and hate wasting all that water for just a few dishes, but don’t have the time or energy to do them by hand? Heatworks Tetra is a compact, countertop dishwasher that you don’t even need to hook up – just fill the drum with half a gallon of water, turn it on, and in ten minutes your dishes are done. A great water and energy saver.
Laundry Room Innovations
8. Steam Washing Machine
Here’s something MrSteam has known for decades – steam is the ideal environment to deep-clean clothes, smooth out wrinkles, and soften your clothing, while ridding them of allergens and unwanted odors. Now washing machine manufacturers – including LG, Kenmore, and Whirlpool – are finally catching on by adding a steam cycle to their latest and greatest clothes washers and dryers.
Bedroom Connectivity – with No Snoring
9. Magical Mattresses
One of the latest trends is to be able to connect to everything in your home – from everywhere in your home. The Starry Night Bed does this, through electronic components that connect you to other electronics in the bedroom and elsewhere. From the comfort of your bed, you can control lights, thermostat, security system, and your media. Plus, this magical mattress lets you create settings, allowing you to read at a comfortable angle with your bedside lamp automatically switched on, or gives you a message.
Another magical mattress is the Magni Smartech bed system which not only will monitor your sleep, but will detect snoring, adjusting the mattress position until you or your partner stops. Not a cheap feature, but frankly, anyone with a sleeping partner who snores may be more than willing to pay the price!
All Throughout the House
10. Mood-enhancing Lighting
Here’s another innovation which is frankly old news to MrSteam, which has offered its steam shower Chromatherapy system for years now. Turnable lighting uses the power of colored lights to set your mood in any room in your home, from red hues to boost energy to blue tones to calm you down.
11. Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Another “everything old is new again” innovation are improved robot vacuum cleaners. Take the Evovacs Deebot Ozmo, which can mop as well as sweep floors, and links to your smartphone to let you know which rooms you still need to clean.
12. Control Your Home through Switches and Plugs
Plug-in smart sockets will soon become the norm in new and renovated homes. For right now, you might want to consider the iHome iSP6X SmartPlug, Brilliant Control, or the Lightwave RF smart socket. All of them integrate with such smart home platforms as Ring, Sonos, and of course Amazon’s Alexa to let you easily control home appliances from your smartphone or via voice control. The Lightwave socket is more complex than many smart plugs on the market today, requiring professional installation, but it does give you total control over your home.
Finally, we’ve arrived at MrSteam’s favorite room of the home – the bathroom.
13. Marvelous Mirrors
Want to detect – and combat – wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, red spots, and more? Or motivate yourself by being able to track your percentage of body fat, your lean/fat mass, and your weight? The HiMirror Mini and the Naked Body Scanner are smart connected mirrors that can do all that for your face and body respectively. Both send these details to your smartphone, and even log new skincare products as you use them. They will give you motivation to take full advantage of your personal steam shower, considering the benefits of steam on both skin and weight.
14. Sensational Steam
Of course, any new or renovated bathroom can, and should, include a steam shower to transform it into a home wellness center. And, surprise! If you have our SteamLinx Module App, you can conveniently use your smartphone or mobile device to start your steam shower from anywhere in range of your home router. If you want to connect the MrSteam SteamShower to your home automation system, our HomeWizard lets you tie it all together! And don’t forget to including these steam therapies - ChomaTherapy, AromaTherapy, and MusicTherapy.
Of course, this is just a sampling of some of the modern home innovations that make a new or renovated home the showcase of the neighborhood. But isn’t it thrilling to know how much more convenient, functional, and energy efficient these new technological marvels will make our lives?