On the first day the iPhone 6 came out – I bought two. One for my husband and one for myself. I’m that person in our family who is the tech junky, finding, installing and fixing everything. I’ve got my kids and husband trained to just give me the device, and I’ll get it going again.
My Obsessive Connected (OC) behavior has been cultivated by all of the new devices that are:
- very inexpensive
- very specific with their purpose, and provides immediate benefits
- very easy to install, manage and interconnect.
If there’s something new to the market that hits those 3 criteria, likely it’s in my home.
Today, I look around and have to say that these devices are truly making my life easier to manage.
- My family is healthier
- My family is better monitored (I hate using the word “safe” because I don’t think that’s what devices really do)
- My family can focus on what’s important to us vs. worry about remedial things
These are my favorite devices that are currently feeding my Obsessive Connected behavior:
Pebble Time SmartWatch
First thing that’s been amazing to use for alerts and monitoring is our new His & Hers Pebble Time smartwatches. Disguised as a birthday gift for my husband, we became one of the 73,000 backers on the Kickstarter campaign, and having the watch has been extremely helpful tracking our activities & staying in the know on the important things.
Sonos for home & Jambox for bike
To keep us mentally engaged, we always have music going on in each room or outside, thanks to Sonos & Jambox. Both controlled by our phones or our Pebble Time smartwatches – which is really convenient to use. Sonos allows us to control wired patio speakers through the phone via “connect:amp”, and also allows us to control their wireless speakers which are equally amazing – like the Sonos 3 – in our kitchen.
Jambox (by Jawbone) is nothing new, but easily amazing. For being a family that loves music, we carry this little guy everywhere we go and are always playing our favorite tunes.
Piper Security Camera + GE Z Wave Light Switches
We have an elaborate home quasi-security/ monitoring system installed, where we use Piper Security camera including Night Vision, which is our Z wave hub for our device controlled dimmer switches. If Piper detects something wrong (like movement or sound) during times when the house should be silent, it turns on lights and alerts those within the “trusted circle”. Piper also notifies us for severe weather alerts, reminding us when to cover outdoor furniture and the like.
There are many Z Wave light switches out there, in the end, we chose GE. I am impressed with the 600 W capacity and are compatible with most Z wave hubs, including the one built into our Piper camera. Synching them was a synch, and then adding the lights onto an alert workflow was also extremely easy. The Piper app is also the mobile interface we use to control the light switches. Hopefully soon, Piper will make a Pebble app, so all of this can be controlled through my wrist.
We also installed Skybell, which is a wifi-enabled smart doorbell, that has a tiny color camera with good night vision and a 2 way mic, mounted above the button. When someone rings the bell, it alerts us through our smart phone that there’s someone at the door, shows the video display, and allows us to have an actual, audible conversation with the visitor without even answering the door. I also get alerts that there’s a visitor at my front door on my Pebble Time.
Sidenote: Skybell is great because it also allows me to see packages when delivered, and left on my stoop.
Sense by Hello
Just 2 nights ago, we began using Sense from Hello – which monitors our sleeping habits to understand what are the ideal conditions for us to get the best sleep! The Sleep Pill that clips onto your pillowcase is one of the smallest and most intelligent devices I’ve seen, whereas it knows when I’m laying down and wide awake, or actually asleep, and the level of sleep I’m in. The pill connects to the Sense (ball), which monitors the bedroom for sound, light, temperature and humidity, and correlates conditions to my actual sleeping pattern, giving me a “sleep score” in the morning. The Sense also knows how & when to wake you up, so you can stop wearing-out your snooze button.
It’s been really eye-opening on our whole shut-eye (sorry – had to).
Evernote on my wrist
To manage those pesky HoneyDo lists, Home renovation punch-lists, and to manage all of the kids’ activities, we use Evernote. Thinking the “Premium” subscription plan that we’re on should be renamed to “Life” because that’s really how we use it. Sharing these tasks with family to contractors has been helpful to understand what’s going on. It too is integrated on our Pebble Time smartwatch, so when tasks are complete, or I forgot what I was supposed to get, I have it on my wrist.
If you’d like to know about other devices I’m obsessing about, or have recommendations of your own, please tag onto this post through comments! I take pleasure in meeting other OC people like myself.