A solution to the smart home data problem

Smart homes are the selling point of the future. As we hear about refrigerators which can tell us when we are out of cheese or milk, or devices which can track your child throughout the house, it can seem fantastic and extravagant. But it is real, and a survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate shows that 64 percent of home sales associates have seen buyers with a greater interest in smart homes compared to a few years ago.

The time will come when smart devices seem ordinary, just like a dryer or a swimming pool is for us today. But until that happens, most of us can only pick and choose which devices are the best to turn our ordinary home into a smart home that can use the Internet and Wi-Fi to accomplish so many things.

Here are five smart tools I would recommend which are useful for any homeowner, easy to use, and relatively economical.

Most smart tools will improve your home, but they will not directly pay for themselves.

The Nest Learning Thermostat will. This Google product can track when you and your family are in the house. When everyone is gone, this thermostat will change the temperature so that it uses the least amount of energy. Once you are back, it will figure out what temperature you like the most and adjust it to that, while also accounting for the outside heat or cold as well.

As How to Geek notes, the Nest Learning Thermostat is easy to use, and you can adjust it to adapt to different circumstances. It may take a little bit of time as it gets used to your patterns, but it will save you money in heating bills over the long run.

The Amazon Echo was released to customers exactly one year ago on Thursday, and the only question is what it can’t do at this point.

The Echo functions as a personal assistant, and Amazon is constantly working on new features to add onto it. As of today, the Echo can sync with smart home devices, play music, read audio books, make phone calls, order an Uber or pizza, and countless other uses. Until true AI is developed, it may be the closest we get to a robot butler for a while.

Out of the all the devices listed here, the Echo is the most versatile. If you are going to get any of these, get the Echo.