It’s no secret that staying in is the new going out. The place to be during summer 2017? On your sofa watching Chris and Kem rap it out on Love Island. Be there, or be seriously muggy.
And why wouldn’t you? The latest home tech has made that couch potato lyf even dreamier. From the Amazon Echo Show to coffee machines, home tech is changing the game. Now, you don’t even need to get off your sofa to enjoy the perfect night in.
But figuring out what to invest in is no simple task, because just about every brand going has their eyes on the smart tech prize. So not only have we rounded up the coolest connected devices on the block, but we’ve also included the price tag of the gadget and how many pounds and pennies you’ll spend on it once it’s in your home. Being savvy about your home energy spend could save you big bucks in the long run – start tracking yours by getting a smart meter installed (at no extra cost) and wave goodbye to estimated bills as it’ll track your spend in pounds and pence. Because no-one wants a financial sting in the tail thanks to one too many Alexa demands, amirite?
Amazon Echo Show
Make Alexa do more for you with the latest edition of Amazon’s Echo, the Echo Show. It’s got everything you love about original Echo (who doesn’t love Alexa’s classic jokes or alarm-setting abilities) but it actually shows you stuff, too. Geddit? Whether it’s music lyrics, security cameras, photos or shopping lists, Echo Show will display them all on its screen. And if you’ve got more than one Echo device, its powerful speakers with Dolby processing will pump music around multiple rooms simultaneously. Slick.
Energy cost to run: 1.8p/hr
Now that winter is coming (sorry), the new voice-enabled Ecobee4 is the sofa hogger’s ride or die. It’s essentially a beautifully-designed smart thermostat, but while most traditional thermostats only read the temperature in one place, the Ecobee4 comes with a room sensor to help manage particularly hot or cold areas in each room. If you’re feeling the chill, ask your voice-enabled Ecobee4 to sort it without moving a muscle. We typically spend more on energy throughout the winter months, so prevent the Ecobee4 from adding to your bill woes by getting your mitts on a smart meter to help you track your spend. You can also ask the Ecobee4 to order you a pizza, and, if you’re so inclined, read the news. Nice.
Energy cost to run: 2.34p/hr
Smarter Coffee Machine
Wake up to the smell of a freshly brewed coffee or have one waiting for you when you get home from the office with this Wi-Fi connected beauty. Plus, with your smart meter, you can see exactly how much an at-home coffee costs you compared to grabbing one on the go – coffee beans and energy included. Its 12-cup capacity (you can see exactly how much water is left in the tank via the free app) means you’ll basically never need to go to Starbucks again, and it connects to other smart devices like Amazon Alexa and Nest. Caffeine for you (and your crew) on demand – it almost seems too good to be true. The only thing this nifty device doesn’t do is bring your brew to you. Imagine.
Energy cost to run: 5.22p/hr
While most smart tech devices offer some kind of music-playing capability, few are crafted by audio experts. For rich, room-filling sound that’s perfect for parties and that will seriously impress your guests, look no further than Sonos One. Because this nifty piece of kit uses Amazon Alexa voice recognition, you can direct sound to play in specific rooms where there’s a Sonos device. This means you can listen to Stormzy in your room while your friend with less impeccable taste in grime can get their fill of Ed Sheeran elsewhere.
Energy cost to run: 5.22p/hr
Google Home Mini
Next stop on Google’s world domination tour is the latest rollout of its Google Home range, and for a piece of smart tech, the Google Home Mini is almost rudely cheap. At less than £50, why wouldn’t you buy one? It comes with Google Assistant, which can find answers to questions, dim lights or start a TV show. It also effortlessly syncs with Chromecast and Chromecast audio and comes in three inoffensive colours – chalk, charcoal and coral. Yes, the Mini looks like a macaron, but we’re not complaining.
Energy cost to run: 0.3p/hr
To monitor the energy cost of your favourite home tech and spot where you could be saving money in your home in near real time, contact your energy supplier about installing a smart meter at no extra cost. Or, if you’re not sure who your supplier is, visit the Smart Energy GB website.