Pondering what to purchase for that particular person in your life?
Still searching for a sufficient (if slightly extravagant) Secret Santa gift?
Let us help with this daunting task. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite smart home products from the past year that will fit any personality you know.
The Creative Type
Have a design-obsessed daughter or crafty co-worker on your gift list? We recommend some smart light bulbs: the Philips Hue White and Color Ambience Starter Kit.
While a gift of light bulbs may seem as pitiful as a pair of socks or tie, you haven’t experienced Hue. Philips Hue bulbs can be controlled by voice, smart device or computer and can display 16 million colors (!) and 50,000 shades of white, allowing you to easily sync your lighting to your movies, music or mood.
Users can also build preset color loops and easily activate them via a variety of actions, thanks to some clever IFTTT applets.
Provide the creative person in your life a new radiant medium to express their vision to the world …or at least the rest of the household.
The Philips Hue White and Color Ambience Starter Kit comes with three color A19 bulbs and a Bridge, the voice-activated, Wi-Fi-enabled hub for controlling the bulbs.
It retails for $299.99.
The Organized and Informed
Everyone knows someone who is not only on top of their own life, but, seemingly, everyone else’s too. These eminently informed individuals (know-it-alls, you might say) can be real pains when it comes to buying gifts.
Play to their strengths with the best reviewed smart home hub and digital assistant on the market: The Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo.
The voice-activated Echo, which comes in its original tower or its smaller, sleeker Dot form, can not only control your other in-home smart products, but will keep you up-to-date on the latest news, weather, itinerary items and much more, all with a simple ask. The byte-sized butler can even order you an Uber.
More: Staying Alert at Home
And for those rare moments when your buttoned-up friend or family member lets down their hair, the Echo can be paired with any digital media library to easily playback music, podcasts or audiobooks on command.
The Amazon Echo is available for $179.99; The Echo Dot is available for $49.99.
For the film buff in your life we suggest an LG OLED 4K HDR Smart TV.
These top-tier televisions, which include sound design by harman/kardon, are perfect for cord cutters, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, a full web browser and screen and content sharing, but they’ll appeal to Blu-ray buyers alike.
Moreover, the well-engineered entertainment systems have relegated remotes to the annals of history, as each of the smart TVs can be controlled by the user’s voice.
But what will really stand out for your family’s cinephile is the screen series’ 4K Ultra HD picture quality as well as the cinema-quality shading provided by LG’s high-performance OLED (organic light-emitting diode) HDR— technology that has won praise from acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola.
Prices for LG OLED 4K HDR Smart TVs range from $2,299.99 to $19,999.99 depending on size, model and features.
Long-Distance Loved Ones
Have a beloved family member you only get to see at holiday times? Shake those seasonal shackles with the Nucleus.
The new kind of intercom, which features a 120-degree HD camera and stereo speakers, provides instant audio and video with a paired Nucleus device or app-enabled smart phone/tablet at the push of a button. It works anywhere in the world (with internet access) and without ever having to enter a phone number.
If your New Year’s Resolution is to stay more connected with the people in your life, this intelligent intercom may be the way to do it.
Better yet, giving a Nucleus means you’re also giving a gift to yourself.
A single Nucleus unit costs $249, two units cost $398 and three cost $597
The Refreshment Fiend
For lovers of liquid delights, be they bourbon or bean-based, we have two promising products— both formerly fully funded Kickstarter projects, which we have highlighted previously.
For the caffeine fiend, or simply Americano enthusiast, the Auroma One.
The Auroma One offers the home brewer an unparalleled level of coffee customization, allowing them to control everything from bitterness to strength, techniques to texture, all from their phone.
Also, its Wi-Fi-capability means it can be set to start cooking when your alarm clock goes off.
And for the enthusiast of more adult beverages, the Somabar.
This robotic bartender makes it easy to be an amateur mixologist, and like its coffee-making cousin, users can control any aspect of the drink-making process, from bitters to booze-strength, directly from their phones.
The Somabar and Auroma One are both available for pre-order for $429 and $399, respectively.
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