(Photo: John Tekeridis/Pexels).


Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Have you noticed? We’re living in the future. Just look at the smart home gadgets for the year. You’ll want them all – and homeowners on your gift list would enjoy these, too. But whether your gift recipient owns their home, lives in a dorm, or a rented apartment, here are our favorite smart gift ideas suggested by PC Magazine.

Smart speakers: the ultimate atmosphere enhancer

Nothing brings enjoyment like mood-enhancing music and wireless speakers. Many speakers meet the need, but PC Magazine reports the stand outs as the second-generation Sonos. And, in keeping with a future-forward perspective, these speakers offer voice control through Alexa or Google Assistant.

But why stop at music? Smart speakers can also enable you to control most of your home gadgets with your voice. Google’s line of Nest Hub speakers and smart displays range from big room sound to the smaller Nest Audio, Nest Mini, and Nest Hub.

Keeping your smart display at the heart of your home: in the kitchen

Ever been on kitchen duty and wish you could enhance your tidying activities with the news, a movie, or a cooking show? Enter the Echo Show 8 smart display. Ask Alexa to play the news while you’re washing dishes, search for and save recipes, and add items to your shopping list.

Robots to vacuum, mop and empty themselves

The Jetson’s popular family cartoon pegged the future, and we’re still trying to catch up. In a true Jetsons Rosey the Robot moment, cleaning robots are future-vision come true. Now it’s time to level-up with a floor-cleaning robot that also cleans itself. The Shark IQ Robot stores a month’s worth of dust and debris in a bag-less base. You empty the bin once a month and schedule cleaning of targeted rooms for cleaning and virtual no-go zones.

But why stop there? The Samsung Jetbot Mop scrubs floors and walls.

Dog camera by Furbo

Dog owners, treat yourself and your best friend to this one. This camera doubles as a dog sitter and indoor home security camera with barking alerts and the ability to hear and talk to your pooch — and toss them treats from your phone. This camera offers a 1080p livestream video to watch your pet morning, afternoon, or night and lets you toss treats to your furry friend remotely.

Devices to protect you from porch pirates

Want to or not, we order online for everything from household items and groceries to holiday gifts. Video doorbells help keep tabs on package deliveries to your front porch. The Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell is easy to install, offers a remote chime, and works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Other good choices include Google Nest Hello Smart Wi-Fi and RemoBell S, a slim device that gives you on-demand HD video, free cloud recording and support for Alexa and Google voice commands.

Security cameras to keep your home safe

The best security cameras not only trigger motion-detected video capture, but also cast a bright light on your property when movement is detected. The Arol Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is wireless, easily installs and offers plenty of integration options with other smart home devices. Wyze Cam Outdoor delivers sharp 1080p video and SimCam 1S does all of the great stuff of other systems plus uses face recognition to tell you who is coming and going.

And the list goes on.

Santa knows you when you’re sleeping — and now, so can you. You can track how long you sleep and when you snore, cough or breathe overnight with the second-generation Google Nest Hub.

Why not enhance your outdoor environment especially during our dark winter months? You can enliven your backyard with the Govee Lynx Dream String Lights featuring voice- or phone-controlled multicolor LEDs.

Yes, the future is here to stay.

See the full list of gift suggestions at www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-smart-home-gifts-for-living-in-the-future.

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.