Gadget Round-Up: Cool Tools that Keep Your Family Connected
As technology becomes more and more prevalent within the home the ability to stay connected with your loved ones certainly becomes easier. Not only does technology help to streamline communications and enhance the opportunity to manage and monitor remotely, but the plethora of gadgets and apps on the market also make scheduling much easier. Keeping your family in-check and up-to-date is one of the greatest perks of a connected home and connected lifestyle.
One thing’s for certain though, everyone uses technology differently. Whether you use streaming video to check-in on your sleeping baby or apps that allow you to monitor your home security system while on the road, your rely on technology to help you keep an eye on those who matter most.
In the spirit of the smart home, we compiled a list of terrific tech-filled ways you can wrangle up all the moving pieces and keep you family connected:
iBaby Monitor – Imagine this, a baby monitor that lets you control the direction of the camera using a PC or your iOS device! Both veteran parents and newbies can rest easy when the iBaby is on patrol; with boy day and night video and two-way audio you can keep your eyes and ears on your baby at all times. Have a little explorer on your hands? Even if your little one moves in his/her crib, moving out of range of the baby monitor, you can simply swipe your iPhone (or other iOS device) to pan around the room or tilt up and down to see what’s going on.
Xbox 360 4 GB Console w/ Kinect – Those who have an Xbox 360 know better than anyone the hi-fi experience that is guaranteed, thanks to the Kinect sensor which adds a camera to the Xbox 360 gaming console that literally lets you put yourself in the game. The added Kinect sensor brings everything to life, enabling you and your loved ones to full enjoy all of the action. Even better, through gestures you literally transform yourself into the remote, so kiss that extra piece of gear goodbye, you’re going hands free! Looking to have a laid back family movie night? With Xbox Live, you can stream Netflix and Hulu Plus, and navigate the menu with a swipe of your hand – voice control works as well. Most importantly, if you’re a true smart home lover, you can work with your custom installer to integrate your Xbox within your current home automation system; now that’s total control!
Pioneer Electronics SMA Wireless Speakers – One of the best things about living in a connected world is the ability to take technology with you, whether that’s while you’re running errands on-the-go, or just moving from one room to another. Pioneer’s new SMA wireless speaker line really is a jack-of-all-trades and a must-have tool for any connected family. The line supports both Apple’s Air Play format and HTC Connect-certified DLNA to take audio over WiFi no matter where it’s coming from; i.e. iPhone or not. Pioneer also includes Wireless Direct, a little dose of secret sauce that transforms the speaker into its own WiFi access point if it can’t locate and hop onto a nearby router. Pioneer’s new SMA line ensures that you can carry supreme sound with your throughout the home, a sure win for any family.
Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case – The Fisher Price Apptivity case lets you share your iPad with your children while keeping it safe from any accidents, spills and scratches. Many people encourage their children to immerse themselves in technology, it’s part of the “digital native culture”; however on the other hand, some may question your sanity when they see you handing over your iPad to a baby. Little do they know that you can keep your iPad safe from all the drool and accidental drops with a protective case. Once it’s inside the case, the tablet is locked away beneath a clear film which protects the screen. The rubbery grip makes it easy to hold onto, and the case ensures no accidental pressing of the home button. Additionally, there are free apps you can download from Fisher Price so your baby can start figuring out how his/her touch makes the tablet work!
Have any great gadgets or apps you prefer? We’d love to hear how you help keep your family connected and what you’re doing to embrace technology and the smart home – join in the conversation with HD Living on Facebook!
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