Smart-home tech is on the rise, and we've been hard at work testing all of it out in the CNET Smart Home, our living lab for the connected living space. Click through for a look at all of the tech you'll currently find throughout the house -- along with how much all of would cost.
The centerpiece of the CNET Smart Home has to be the Amazon Echo smart speaker, which we use to control various gadgets using voice commands. We've got two of them -- one in the family room and one in the living room.
The second-generation Philips Hue Hub that we're using is compatible with Apple HomeKit -- which means we can control the bulbs using Siri commands. That includes color changes, something Alexa still can't do.
There aren't any service costs associated with HomeKit -- you just need a compatible iOS device and an iCloud account.
Those original color-changing Hue bulbs started out in the kitchen, but we soon decided that they'd be put to better use in the kids' bedroom, where we added the bowl-shaped Philips Hue Go fixture into the mix.
Published:Caption:Ry CristPhoto:Colin West McDonald/CNET
Sleep Number Sleep IQ Mattress
Sleep Number makes a series of "Sleep IQ" mattresses that feature built-in sensors and a dedicated app for tracking your sleep. We put a twin-size model into the kids room, so a hypothetical smart-home parent could get an alert on their phone if their hypothetical young 'un got out of bed in the middle of the night.
That replacement for the downstairs Nest? It's the Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat. We swapped it in to test out its integration with Amazon Echo, but ultimately kept the upstairs Nest so we could continue testing out gadgets that work with both. They share the same price, so the cost comes out in the wash.
We wanted to test out smart ceiling fans, too, so we installed a pair of Haiku ceiling fans from Big Ass Solutions. They're awfully expensive, but they work with Amazon Echo, as well as both the Nest and Ecobee thermostats. And they sure are pretty to look at.
We smartened up a whole bunch of the Smart Home's light switches by swapping them out for Belkin's Wi-Fi-enabled WeMo Light Switches. You can turn them on and off with Alexa commands. We even built four of them into a single fixture -- here's that particular how-to, in case you're interested.
It isn't the only smart switch in our smart kitchen -- we've also got a coffeemaker hooked up to this iDevices Switch. With a single tap on the phone, we can set a pot of coffee to start brewing from afar.
The biggest, flashiest smart thing in the smart kitchen has to be the smart fridge. It's the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, to be exact, and it's a $6,000 appliance with a 21.5-inch touchscreen on the door and cameras on the inside to keep an eye on your leftovers.
Of course, not every product in the CNET Smart Home is a winner. Take this countertop that promises to double as a wireless charging surface for your phone. Sounds like a great idea, right? Unfortunately, it was a lousy performer.
These Keen Home smart vents were another idea that didn't play out so well in practice. The mounting brackets to hold them in place in the ceiling weren't secure enough, causing more than one to fall out. That's an obvious deal-breaker -- but fortunately, Keen Home fixed the problem. Now, with an integration with Ecobee in the works, we're optimistic that these smart vents can bounce back.