Stylish, wireless sound system
Forget boxy and boring designs, not to mention wires. The latest portable Bluetooth speakers are attractive in design, and let you listen to tunes from anywhere in the home, effortlessly streaming from a mobile device or computer. With the Bose SoundTouch 10, guests can easily connect and play back songs from their own device playlists as well. If you use Spotify, station control will soon be integrated into the Bose SoundTouch app providing instant connection between the music service to your home. The unit is minimalist in design, with playback and six preset buttons on the top for one-touch access to your favourite tunes, from soothing jazz to upbeat pop. Bose SoundTouch 10, Bose, $219.99.
Smart watches and activity trackers
While they’re personal devices by definition, tracking activity and delivering smartphone notifications, did you know that many smartwatches can control tech gear in the home as well? For example, you can use the sleek Samsung Gear S2 to control music playback on your smartphone. The company is even developing integrations that allow your watch to connect to other home gear and even cars. Through a partnership with BMW, you may soon be able to check your vehicle’s battery status and control its navigation system through the watch, and then some. Samsung Gear S2, Best Buy, $399.
Remote security monitoring
Believe it or not, security cameras can be sexy. Well, their functionality is certainly appealing – being able to monitor your home while you’re away and alert you if anything is amiss. Looking at it, you’d never know the Canary wireless indoor HD IP camera is such a device. But it can stealthily keep watch of the home, and record motion detection. It can even learn to discern between an active pet and an actual intruder. Canary All-in-One Security Wireless Indoor DH IP Camera, Best Buy, $270.79.