life (with kids)

The products you need to see at the Best Buy SmartHome #BBYsmarthome

The National Home Show in Toronto started up this past Friday and I was invited to come down and take a tour of Best Buy SmartHome designed by the talented Christine Dovey (who also did their amazing SheShed). Her signature style was very apparent throughout the home and everything about it felt sleek, glamorous and yes, full of great technology that blended in seamlessly.

By the time I was finished my tour with Christine who was showing me all the great features of the home, I felt like I was in the episode of the Simpsons entitled “You only move twice” where they move to Cypress Creek and into this modern house that pretty much does everything for you. It’s also the episode where Marge starts to drink wine as she doesn’t feel useful as a housewife anymore because the technology does all her chores for her.

I would however be the one encouraging her to drink the wine after I put together this robot by Meccano Meccanoid and have it deliver it to me while laying out in the sun watching the flowers water themselves and the Roomba vacuumed the inside of the house for me (I hate vacuuming so much).

And I wanted to take this table home because we’re renovating our kitchen and we need a new kitchen table and chairs. Yes, this is from Best Buy. Best Buy sells dining tables too.

Of course I had to find the Star Wars toys (my cell phone case is R2-D2).

Basically everything you thought a house would do in the future, is here now at the Best Buy SmartHome. I can’t even imagine what our kids homes will be like if it’s already this good. In which case I wanted to share some of my favourite product highlights from the home that you really need to see and will want to have in your own home.

The RING Video Doorbell Pro, the RING Wireless Outdoor Camera and the RING Solar Panel

The RING series is something that we plan to invest in this year. You start with the RING Video Doorbell Pro. It’s Wi-Fi-enabled and features Full HD 1080p video so you can see who’s at your door even if you’re not home. It also comes with advanced motion detection to let you know of any activity in front of your home. If you have a delivery scheduled but can’t make it, you can easily talk to the courier through 2 way communication.

Need an additional camera for another part of your home or the back door, get the RING Stick Up Wire Free security camera. Same great features as the Doorbell and it can be charged using the RING Solar Panel. Yes that’s right, a solar panel operated camera.

That’s me testing out what the RING app would see on the other side of the door. This needs to be in our home sooner than later.

The Nest Wi-fi Smart Thermostat 3rd Generation and Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

This Nest Thermostat is called a Learning Thermostat for a reason and that is, it learns your daily activities and adjusts the temperature accordingly to best suit your lifestyle as well as your personal preferences. You can connect it to your Wi-Fi network and your smartphone so you can control it from anywhere in the world (i.e. you left on vacation and forgot to turn down your A/C or furnace). It also notes weather patterns to help you adjust to the optimal temperature.

The one over the thermostat is Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm.  This is something I wish I had had about 2 years ago when I left the house and accidentally left a kettle on our stove burner and came home just in time to see our kitchen covered smoke and in the beginnings of what could have been a very bad house fire. I am still so bothered by the incident that to this day I refuse to use a kettle on our stove to boil water. This Nest Protect has the ability to notify you both while you are in your home and away on your smartphone if it detects something is wrong. It will tell you if the alarm is sounding, batteries are running low or a sensor is malfunctioning. It does the same for Carbon Monoxide levels. It is also compatible with the Nest Thermostat, so if something is wrong, it can turn off your furnace as an added safety measure. Something like this to me, is priceless.

The Meural Canvas Digital Art Frame.

Over 20,000 works of art that you can change at the tip of your finger tips. All that art your kids bring home? Scan it and upload it and enjoy it as often as they enjoy drawing it. Some of the art contains moveable art (think bubbles in an aquarium) and each piece is carefully selected by the Meural team. A great way to change up the look of your space without having to hang new frames every time.

The Samsung 65″ 4K UHD HDR LED Smart TV

Want a step above LED? Try QLED (Quantum Dot Nano Crystal technology) that provides such clear images and such vivid colours that I stood in front of the models in the home and it felt like I was watching a 3D movie without the 3D glasses. You can almost reach into the TV and feel like characters and images in front of you. The TV screen itself is so thin that gone are the days of the big clunky TV hanging off your walls. I write that and I still remember growing up on a tube TV with a stand that was deeper than our coffee table.

The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

Let’s all just take in this kitchen for a second. I am beyond deep into kitchen renovations right now (meaning there is nothing in our kitchen) so I am obsessed with kitchen details as I have not even picked out our range hood, the back splash, the dishwasher and refrigerator. Ok all of it basically. I would think it’s a comedy if I still had our sink installed.

This is just so swoon worthy.

This kitchen has some very thought provoking appliances from Samsung.

What if I told you you could preheat this range before you got home from work using your phone? What if I told you that range hood can be programmed to start as soon as it you turn on a burner without you having to push a button?

And thanks to the light up knobs, you’ll never mistake whether or not your your burners are accidentally left on before you leave the house.

But this fridge below had everyone talking. It’s the Samsung 36″ 27.9 Cu Ft 4-Door French Door Refrigerator with Family Hub. And it is out of this world futuristic that I am pretty sure I just stood there going “It can do what?” with every single feature that was explained to me.

Let’s start with how you can program the dates of the items you buy and place into your fridge on the screen. Not sure how old that mustard is in there? Check the computer and it will tell you. Want to write a note for your kids from your phone while you’re at the office in a meeting and they’re coming home for lunch? It will appear on the screen. You can access the internet, find recipes and it will make you a grocery list with all of the ingredients you need.

Want more? Say you’re at the grocery store and you can’t remember if you were supposed to get milk or how much milk is left. You can now see inside your fridge thanks to the cameras inside your fridge. Let that sink in. Better yet, look.

I think after that part I was like ok what else have you got thinking that was the grand finale.

Oh no. See this bottom section? You can change that compartment from fridge to freezer based on your grocery and household needs. Change it back anytime. It’s called Flexzone. That was tied for one of my favourite things about this along with the anti-fingerprint coating. I don’t know if they had this refrigerator in mind when Marty McFly went back to the future but I am betting it would have made a great addition to the food hydrator.

If you’re in the Toronto area, come and check all of these for yourself at the Best Buy SmartHome at the National Home Show. It runs from March 10 – March 19th, 2017 at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. Plus, if you like some of the smaller items on display, you buy them right there on the spot at the SmartHome.

Or do it the old school way and shop online at BestBuy.ca

Old school, I am kidding…or am I? Don’t worry there’s an app for that.

PS –  The Geek Squad is also here to help for all your smart home needs. You can visit Geek Squad in-store or get 24/7 Online Support and enjoy a list of exclusive benefits to keep your tech in tiptop shape. Geek Squad is exclusive to Best Buy and will help you get the most out of your tech for your home.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with Best Buy as I am a part of the Best Buy Brand Ambassador team. Opinions as always are my own. 

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