From Wi-Fi-enabled toilets that can play music to top notch security systems, 2019 had its fair share of innovative smart home technology. These are our top nine picks for the year.
Slowly-but-surely, smart technology is becoming more commonplace. According to the 2019 Houzz & Home Survey, over a quarter of respondents say that integrating smart technology is a high priority when renovating their homes. One quarter of all homes bought a smart home assistant, the most popular smart tech device. Other popular choices include: smart light fixtures (17 percent) and thermostats (15 percent), security items such as smart alarms and detectors (13 percent), doorbell cameras (10 percent), and streaming media players (10 percent).
Unsurprisingly, smart tech is especially important for drawing in Millennial and Gen Z buyers, as the Houzz survey found that around one-third of respondents in the younger generation rated it as a high priority. But do not count the older generations out: a quarter of Boomers rated smart technology as a ‘high priority’ as well.
Smart technology shines in the kitchen and bathroom categories as well, as consumers are increasingly interested in high-tech faucets, kitchen home assistants, and smart showers and bathtubs. From bidets to self-cleaning bowls and beyond, smart toilets are especially popular: The 2019 Houzz Bathroom Study found that over one-third of homeowners updated to one, which is up 6 percentage points from the year prior.
Data from a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) forecasts that consumers expect smart technology to become even more integrated. The NKBA asked more than 500 kitchen and bath experts and designers to share their experience in the industry. Respondents said that they expect smart temperature control to be the fastest growing bathroom technology segment over the next three years (57 percent), followed by water conservation technology (48 percent) and Internet-connected products (44 percent).
Because we no longer have the print magazine, the editors decided to take a hard look at every product that ran on the website in 2019 and come up with a list of kitchen and bath introductions that met our criteria in a handful of areas. Does the product offer a fresh design? Does it make its category better? Is it innovative? Does is solve a problem? And does it offer an aesthetic or functional benefit to consumers or builders?
Here are 9 of the year’s best smart product introductions, in no particular order:
Duravit's SensoWash i Plus
With an integrated seat warmer, a motion-sensor touchless lid, and an automatic nozzle cleaner, Duravit's SensoWash i Plus smart toilet has all the bells and whistles. Using the SensoWash i Plus app or the included remote control, users can customize the bidet’s intensity of the flow, the temperature of the water, and the nozzle’s position. And with a .82 gallon flush, it is environmentally-friendly as well.
Beko's 24-inch integrated dishwasher
With technology that suppresses noise, eliminates odor, and a high-pressure washing system with 360 degrees of spray-head rotation, Beko's 24-inch integrated dishwasher with a third full-size rack puts a new spin on clean. It can be controlled remotely with the HomeWhiz app.
Using TurboLock's TL117, homeowners can secure their homes with the safety of a deadbolt while also having the convenience of Bluetooth-enabled e-keys stored on TurboLock’s app. The e-keys can be set to expire at different times, making them perfect for giving to friends or family members watching a pet while users are on vacation. The deadbolt also features a traditional keypad that can store up to 10 individual codes.
Designed for single-family homes, the customizable Parcel Pending Parcel Acceptance Security System is the first smart package locker designed for single-family homes. With 24 hour surveillance, direct placement into the box by delivery professionals, and package delivery notifications, consumers can be more confident that their orders will arrive safely.
With sensors that monitor temperature and humidity in the Bluetooth-enabled remote, Big Ass Fan's i6 can automatically adjust based on the rooms environment. The fan will also adjust its lighting and speed to save energy. Its voice command is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and includes an app used to control the fan. It comes in three sizes and four colors: brushed silver, matte black, matte white, and oil-rubbed bronze
WarmlyYours launched a Wi-Fi enabled snow-melting system that can be controlled via app. Smart home assistants can also activate the system based on weather information. Retailing for 85 percent less than competitors, WarmlyYours’ Snow and Ice Melting Wi-Fi Control is an affordable option for clearing snow from a driveway, even while remote.
Want to control all your smart devices from one hub? Brilliant’s smart 2 Switch Control can replace a double light switch panel to control lights, climate, music, and more in one place. The screen also allows for room-to-room video chat. It requires no additional hubs, wiring, batteries, or programming during installation. It is compatible with products from Sonos, Nest, Ring, Hue, Ecobee, and more, and can also be controlled via Amazon Alexa. Though not new to 2019, it did roll out a builder’s program that helps builders integrate the smart technology that consumers want into new homes.
BainUltra’s therapeutic smart tub lets users customize their bathroom experience with spa-inspired settings that LED lights, air jets, heated inner-shell, and an oil diffuser. All this comes in a compact package that fits into urban loft alcoves. The most luxe version, the MiaMulti, includes a wireless remote that allows users to control the settings while still in the tub.
Answer, the smart doorbell by Maximus Lighting, takes security to the next level: Using dual cameras, the doorbell eliminates the blindspots of single-camera video recorders. It uses HD recording to make sure users can get a clear view of their front door. With its programmable greetings, homeowners can customize the visitor experience. It is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.