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Saraya Motley

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Home tech continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Here are three must-haves for your home in 2020.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the use of associated technology to create a home that is "smart" is no longer a fad. Millions of homeowners employ technologies that make their lives more comfortable and efficient, and hundreds of new and improved devices continue to flood the market every year.

You name it, and there's a smart device for it: light bulbs, smart plugs, thermostats, security systems, robot vacuums, and automated sprinkler systems—to name just a few. 

Of course, most of this tech you've already heard of—but what about the future of the smart home? Not necessarily the gadgets that plug into your house, but the ones that make living in your home better, and even feel a bit more futuristic. We've highlighted three such areas, featuring eight products, each of which are increasing in popularity and are poised to take off in 2020.


1. Mensa-level Mirrors

New smart-home tech often releases as top-of-the-line, high-concept devices. This often means steep costs, which prove a deterrent for many homeowners and lead to latent early-adoption. However, two mirrors, both released within the past 18 months, have turned heads with their elegance and practicality.

First, is Kohler's Verdera's Voice Lighted Mirror, a lighted bathroom mirror embedded with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. With a built-in speaker and microphone, voice control is the crucial feature—dim or brighten the lighting, request, and listen to the news, traffic, or your favorite playlist, or even shop—all with the sound of your voice. 

Next, if you love to work out but are wary of gym memberships, the Mirror transitions from a reflective piece of wall art into a shadowboxing, cardio, or yoga class. From personal trainers to live and on-demand workouts (all while monitoring your performance), it's a window into a healthier you.


2. A Smarter Night’s Sleep

Speaking of a healthier you, few things can improve your physical and mental well-being better than a good night's rest. For many, a solid six to eight hours of sleep can prove elusive. Beautyrest, Eight, and Sleep Number all sell mattresses that offer varying degrees of app-controlled connectivity along with some useful tools. 

With tracking of sleep patterns including heart and breathing rates, adjustable heating and cooling settings, and integration with Alexa or Nest, these beds are at-home labs helping you realize a better night's rest. 


3. Cooking with Science

Understandably, tech-laden appliances garner much attention when it comes to smart kitchens, from refrigerators that sync grocery lists and read recipes aloud, to ovens, stoves, and microwaves that connect to your home's wifi to remotely manage your cooking. However, if you aim to start small and use more practical cooking methods, try sous-vide.

Sous-vide—where foods like meats and vegetables are slow-cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath—isn't exactly a new trend in food preparation. What is new, and gaining in popularity, are at-home, immersion circulators controlled via a smartphone app. Anova and Breville both feature affordable higher-end devices based on your skill level and meal demands that would prove a welcome addition to any kitchen.


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