11 smart gifts for the connected homebody

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11 smart gifts for the connected homebody

Welcome to the 2016 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We’ll be rolling out a bunch of guides leading up to Christmas, hopefully making your holiday shopping a little easier. Looking for gifts for others on your list? Check out our fullĀ 2016 Gift Guide Hub.

Your home could probably stand to be more connected, and it’s finally getting to the point where gadgets around the house add more convenience on balance.

Here’s a list of the very best things you can get someone in your life who wants their home to be more connected. From lights, to appliances, to gadgets to help control it all, this list will help make the holiday one the whole house can enjoy.


Philips Hue starter kit

This is the very best gateway drug for the connected home. The Hue starter kit with the multicolor A19 bulbs and the new generation 2 bridge will set you up for HomeKit, Alexa and other centralized control of three lights — very few people will stop at just three.


Amazon Echo or Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo is now the default way I turn on lights and unlock doors, which is weird but awesome. I’d get one or two Echos depending on how many speakers you already have, but if you have a lot of existing speakers with aux input, an Echo Dot for each big room is a great idea — plus they come in multipacks.


WeMo Switch Smart Plug

This connected outlet by Belkin connects to your Wi-Fi and can be controlled by Alexa, to turn ordinary dumb devices into smartphones. Easy and cheap, which is the best possible combo.


Ring video doorbell

The best kind of medicine is preventive healthcare, and likewise the best anti-theft is stuff that stops it from happening to begin with. The Ring video doorbell provides this kind of peace-of-mind, giving you a video intercom to chat to strangers, motion alerts and cloud recording.


Logitech Harmony Elite

The Harmony Elite is the best universal remote ever made, and it connects with your smart home devices, too. It also now works with Alexa and Echo, letting you give voice commands to turn on and off specific home theater activities and devices.


PetNet SmartFeeder

Puppy or kitty need their food in a timely, consistent pattern to keep them healthy and fit. The PetNet feeder not only does Wi-Fi connectivity and scheduling, but also on-demand top-ups if you feel like the pooch needs a snack, and recommendations about portion size based on your dog’s size and age.


Ring Stick Up Cam plus Solar Panel

Ring’s Stick Up Cam is a great security measure, which now has scheduling so it won’t go off when you know there’s going to be motion in its field of view. The solar panel bundle is the way to go for power, and if you use this with IFTTT you can make some amazing things happen.


WeMo Wi-Fi Crock-Pot

I like slow-cooking because it’s easy. The WeMo Wi-Fi smart Crock-Pot makes it even easier. And even if you don’t use the remote control app, it’s a very good Crock-Pot in its own right.


Dyson 360 Eye

This is a big ticket item, so it might be the whole gift budget, but the Dyson 360 Eye is a great connected vacuum robot that will get the job done, and that uses over-the-air updates to get smarter over time.


August Smart Lock

August’s connected smart lock works with HomeKit and Alexa, and it’s a great way to do stuff like provisioning access to friends or Airbnb guests while you’re away. It doesn’t hurt that the industrial design is on point, too.


Sphero Star Wars Force Band

Okay just hear me out: The Sphero Force Band not only controls the Sphero BB-8, but also smart home devices like the August Smart Lock, which lets you pretend you have force powers — so that’s amazing and the best gift ever.