In today’s day and age of gadgets galore, finding technology that works for you can be downright daunting. Home tech expert Carley Knobloch, offers up tips on curating home tech to enhance your life, not complicate it.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about technology’s promise to make life better, and how sometimes it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Anyone who’s tried to set up a new wireless printer or pair a Bluetooth speaker to their phone can tell you that the process didn’t exactly spark joy.
And yet, there are plenty of digital tools that do make my life easier, which is a good thing. But what if technology could do more than maximize my efficiency ... what if it could maximize happiness?
As a tech expert, I bring a lot of gadgets into
my home. The ones that stay bring value to my life
beyond just saving a few minutes here or there. They
make it more pleasurable to get things done, or allow
me to unplug, disconnect, and enjoy my life, in real
life (yes, tech can do that too). Here, are a handful of
tech-driven essentials on my radar that always give
me a shot of happy.
This is the centerpiece of my night- time tea station set-up. I keep this dispenser—which has four different temperature settings—plus, a selection of tea and mugs on the second floor of my home. This way, if I’m craving a cup of soothing chamomile before bed, I don’t have to go downstairs to boil water.
This matte (and, let’s be honest, kind of magical) mug keeps my tea hot until the very last drop—and I don’t have to do a thing. The corresponding app allows you to adjust the temperature remotely and choose and save presets for your different drinks. It’s a little thing I’ve grown accustomed to.
The right lighting can change the mood in your home for the better—tons of studies back me up on this one. This well-designed touch screen system allows me to set the ambiance of an entire room with a swipe; bump up the brights in the kitchen to help my family start the day or tone it back to create a softer mood at night.
Not only does this humidifier run for up to 8 hours before it needs a water refill, it has an optional color changing light and an aromatherapy diffuser, so that I can wind down the day with the scent of lemon, lavender, or jasmine oils—all stress-relievers—wafting through the air. (It’s especially helpful when you’re setting up that wireless printer ... ).
Sometimes too much tech is just too much tech—there’s no need for buttons and apps that complicate things and don’t bring value. That’s why I love this electric toothbrush that delivers just the right amount of sonic vibrations for a two-minute deep clean that’s dentist-approved. And when the bristles start to look a little worse for wear, I check my mailbox: Quip sends a brush head refill once every three months.
This countertop garden makes it a breeze to add more veggies to my family meals, especially given the fact that I can pick as I cook. It also generates a bounty of delicious produce regardless of the season thanks to an LED grow light and WiFi control panel. More plant-based meals means a happier and healthier family.
Between my husband, two teenag- ers and I, there are a lot of gadgets in our home (even the dog has a fitness tracker that needs charging). Keeping this low-profile and modern docking set-up on my countertop is a subtle signal to my family that their tech has a “home” to go to when they walk in the door so we can all connect IRL.
A Bluetooth sensor inside this sleek looking water bottle syncs with an app on my smartphone to automatically track every ounce that I drink. It results in a “no excuses” approach to hydration—and I can’t help but check the app a couple times a day to see how I’m doing. My skin’s glowy, and my energy levels are UP.
Copy by Carley Knobloch / Photography by Constance Mariena
This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of The Inspired Home Journal, titled “Smart Home.”