While traditional appliances tend to "play it safe," the smart home is all about taking risks. These 11 products manage to deliver both innovative features and forward-thinking design -- now that's smart.
Kornering the market on cool
Korner is a sensor that you can stick on a door or window to track movement. If you add the Zigbee fob into the mix, a siren will accompany any security event and the police or a preapproved list of contacts will be alerted to the breech. It's a simple, streamlined take on DIY home security.
Not long ago GE's FirstBuild microfactory had a competition geared toward compact kitchen innovations. Entrants took the idea of a basic kitchen and compressed it for urban dwellers or anyone with space-saving needs. Behold, the micro kitchen -- a sink, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, oven, microwave, and stove all in one.
Netherlands-based company Athom took a standard multiprotocol hub and turned it into a glowing voice-activated sphere it dubbed Homey. Homey was fully funded on Kickstarter and is expected to retail for roughly $243.
Program Bellatrix Systems' $96 nLine Switch to automatically turn your lights on and off via infrared sensors that tune into motion activity. You can also use this device to stream music, set an alarm or nightlight, and initiate a conversation via a built-in speaker and microphone.
The $249 Sentri might just be the most futuristic security and automation system we've come across. You'll notice something distinctly Apple-esque about Sentri that takes it from a utilitarian camera and environmental and security tracker to something that you wouldn't mind showing off in your home.
Orbnext is a $99 device that was funded on Kickstarter back in May 2014. Thanks to built-in LEDs, this cute glass cube can change colors based on custom settings, like weather alerts or changing stock prices.
If you like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest weather happenings, the BloomSky personal weather station wants to help. For $169, this handy device will measure temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, UV light, and precipitation.
Like the $249 Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell's $279 rounded Lyric puts a unique spin on the smart heating and cooling market. While the Lyric's geofencing feature was a bit glitchy, this fresh-faced appliance won't disappoint in terms of modern design.
Smart home sensors that look like Chiclets may not seem super futuristic, but Vorm Lab certainly injected some modernity into this a classic candy aesthetic. The $15 Clime sensors are supposed to be able to track temperature, humidity, light, motion, CO2, pressure, and color and alert you to anomalies on the related app.
Hello's Sense is a $99 system designed to give you a better night's sleep. The Sense sphere sits on your nightstand and tracks environmental triggers that could be interrupting your slumber. A separate movement and motion sensor goes on your pillowcase to monitor your sleep pattern, and the Sense app gives you a report of your Z's so you can pinpoint specific interruptors.