10 Home Tech Trends for 2019

The newest devices to help streamline your home.

Ever since the home-appliance boom of the 1950s, American families have been looking for new ways to incorporate time-saving, task-reducing technologies into their homes. In recent years, “smart” has become the defining word of our current generation of home technologies. Everything from smart thermostats to smart speakers to smart slow cookers have allowed users to control everything in their homes from their smartphones.

While some of these technologies overpromise or resolve issues that never existed in the first place, the best of these technologies combine form and function to offer something that is both useful and an attractive complement to a home’s decor. Here are 10 tech trends from the latter category.

Smart home hubs

If you are looking to add smart technology to your home, there’s no better place to start than a hub. Whether it’s an Amazon Echo, a Google Home, or an Apple HomePod, smart hubs connect with all of the other smart devices in your home, as well as any number of non-smart devices, allowing you to control every gadget in your home by voice.

Video doorbells

At first blush, a video doorbell may not seem like a necessary advancement from the traditional peep-hole, which already allowed you to see who’s at the door before answering, but video doorbells offer a number other benefits that can go a long way toward protecting your home. Most video doorbells include built-in HD cameras, which will capture any goings-on in front of your home. Packages stolen? Check the camera for a culprit. Want to speak to whoever’s at your door before answering? Most video doorbells have built-in microphones and speakers. And all of the functions are accessible via smartphone.

Smart lights

Smart lights allow you to control the brightness and color of your lights from your smartphone. Even more useful, they allow you to check your lights and turn them on or off from miles away or even program them in advance, so next time you go on vacation, you won’t need to worry if you remembered to turn the kitchen light off

Robot vacuums

Robot vacuums have been around for a while now, but they’ve never been smarter or more affordable. Unlike the first generations of robot vacuums, the newest models can memorize the layout of your home for a more strategic cleaning pattern, and rather than finding your walls and furniture by bumping into them, some models use cameras and lasers to avoid obstacles altogether. The highest-end robot vacuums can even mop hardwood floors and transition back to vacuuming before reaching a carpet.

Smart thermostats

Like most smart technology, smart thermostats allow you to control your thermostat from your phone, which is great if you want to warm up your home before getting back from work on a particularly cold day, but the biggest benefit of the devices is the ability to save users a significant amount of energy, and therefore money, by automatically adjusting the temperature to conserve energy within the parameters of your personal preferences. Smart thermostats are still on the expensive side, but some energy companies will offer subsidies or incentives for homeowners who upgrade.

Remote-controlled shades

If you are someone who needs complete darkness at night but wants to rise with the sun in the morning, remote-controlled shades are a must-have. Most models can be controlled via smartphone or programmed in advance to close and open when you want them to so that you don’t have to get out of bed to let in the sun each morning.

Curved TVs

The next big thing in TV technology isn’t HD, 4K, 3D or any other two-letter picture upgrade, it’s a physical curve. The most substantial hardware change since screens went flat at the turn of the century, curved screens allow ideal perspective from any seat in the house while simultaneously minimizing glare from light sources.

Self-watering planters

If you have trouble keeping plants alive, do yourself and your succulents a favor and invest in a self-watering planter. Like just about every other device on this list, these planters can be programmed to dispense water at selected intervals, meaning you’ll only have to learn how frequently each of your plants need water once, then set and forget.

Pet cameras

At some point over the past five years, someone realized that most people were just using their home security cameras to watch their pets at work and decided call a spade a spade and make cameras for that exact purpose. Now, pet owners have a variety of options to monitor their cats and dogs while they are away. Most cameras offer a live stream that can be viewed via desktop or mobile phone, some can be controlled via remote, so you can track your pet through the home, and some even let you dispense food and treats at the press of a button.

Smart locks

If you’ve ever had to shell out for a locksmith, you know exactly how frustrating it can be to forget your keys. Smart locks take physical keys out of the equation, allowing you to lock and unlock doors via your smartphone or desktop. When paired with a video doorbell, smart locks allow homeowners to let guests into their home while away. Most models also have features that alert you when your door is open or sync with your smart hub so that you can lock and unlock your doors through voice commands.