International CES (The Global Stage for Innovation) 2015 occured in January in Las Vegas. This is the expo that homeowners and gadget lovers wait for each year to discover new technology trends will enhance the home. Here at Landmark Home Warranty, we love smart gadgets– and we’d like to share with you our three favorite home protection gadgets for 2015.
1. RING: SMART DOORBELL
This is by far the best smart gadget we have seen for home protection.
Ring is a video doorbell that allows for extra security and protection, even when you’re not home. You install it, connect it to a smart phone and you’re set! When someone rings your doorbell, you get a notification on your smart phone. You can talk to the person on your doorstep with Ring’s two-way audio, as well as see them with the video monitoring system, all on your smart phone. The video is HD that even lets you see at night.
Here are a few reasons Landmark Home Warranty thinks Ring is great:
First, this is a great way to protect your home from break-ins. You can pretend like you’re at home when you’re not really at home. No matter where you are if someone comes to your door, you can talk to them. Did you know that many break-ins begin with a ring of the doorbell? The potential burglary is stopped when someone answers the door. With Ring, you can act like you’re home without having to actually be home to protect your house.
Second, the video capabilities on Ring go beyond just when someone rings the doorbell. The video monitoring system is motion detected, so you can watch the outside of your home if someone walks or drives by it. Not only that, but Ring lets you store that video, and replay it whenever. You can customize when and where Ring’s motion sensing video notifies you of someone’s presence, so if you have a busy street nearby, you aren’t being notified every time someone drives next to your house.
Third, it’s easy to install, and you can use it with a battery or hard wire it into your existing doorbell. There is a lifetime guarantee, too. At $200, the price is a little steep for a doorbell, but it’s worth it.
2. AUGUST SMART LOCK
There are a lot of smart locks out there, but August is one of the best Landmark Home Warranty has seen, and was actually chosen as CNet Magazine’s top smart lock for this past year. The lock system is fairly simple to install and use. The August Smart Lock retrofits onto your existing deadbolt on the interior side. You put the August smart lock case over the top of your normal deadbolt. Then, you use your phone to pair with it via Bluetooth. August automatically locks and unlocks your door when you come close by sensing your phone, without you having to do anything.
Another great feature is having total control over who comes and goes into your home, and not having to be there to unlock the door for them. You decide who can be let into the house via your smart phone – you just send them an invite. Then, your August Lock alerts you (via your smart phone) when that person comes and goes. You can determine how long a person can come into your home, and take away their access whenever. So, if a contractor needs to come into your home to fix something, you send him an invite, schedule how long they can use the invite to get into the home, and August will shut off their access after that amount of time. It also logs records of who comes and goes.
August isn’t connected to your wireless router or electrical circuits, it’s battery operated, which means if your internet or electricity is down, you’re still safe. August goes for $250, and is available in a variety of colors. You can learn more at http://august.com/
From Landmark Home Warranty’s point of view, iSmart Alarm is the most comprehensive and wallet-friendly do-it-yourself home alarm system out there. The set up is simple, and completely customizable. One of the great things about iSmart Alarm that sets it apart from alarm companies, is that you decide when to call the police, instead of a company calling them whenever an alarm is tripped – even if it’s an accident.
Essentially, everything on the iSmart Alarm is run by your smart phone, and a CubeOne. CubeOne is what iSmart Alarm calls the “brains” of the system. It connects to all of the monitoring devices you put around your home, which include motion sensors, door and window sensors, and a camera. You decide where to set up each of these sensors, and using your smart phone arm or disarm the system, wherever you are. Then, if a sensor is tripped, it sends an alert to your phone including pictures taken from the iSmart Alarm’s camera. iSmart Alarm provides you with the emergency contact number if you want to call the police.
When the iSmart Alarm is not armed, it tracks family members comings and goings. The price range for a package of motion sensors and door sensors is $200, and the premium package that includes that camera, is $350. You can find more about iSmart Alarm by going to www.ismartalarm.com/
OF COURSE, A HOME WARRANTY ALSO HELPS PROTECT YOUR HOME
We couldn’t finish this article without pointing out the obvious. Home warranties are great tools to help protect your house! Even though they might not alert you on your smart phone if you have an intruder, or let you see who is ringing your doorbell even though you’re on the other side of the country, they can help save you money and keep your home systems and appliances safe. A home warranty covers your main appliances and home systems, like your electricity, plumbing, heating and cooling. You pay a yearly premium, and then if an appliance or home system fails, you call Landmark to get it repaired or replaced.
Landmark also offers Landmark Home Services, which provides discounts on things like TV, Internet, and also home security! Learn more about Landmark Home Services and home security here.