In our modern connected society, IoT devices are everywhere. However, it can sometimes be hard to find one worth buying out of the millions of products on offer today.
IoT devices are quickly becoming the norm in our society. Often it can come as a surprise if a product doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities. Despite this, sometimes it can be hard to find the IoT devices that are actually worth buying.
Here we’ve done the hard work for you. We went through all the new or popular IoT devices on the market right now and found the best ones that you should be investing in.
#1. Smart Bike GPS Trackers
Many smart bike locks still function like normal bike locks and are just as bulky.
If someone wanted to steal your bike, all they would have to do is hack the lock. That renders your smart lock tracking function totally useless.
The bike GPS tracker Sherlock, however, works a little differently.
Designed to be discreet, it slides into curved or straight handlebars, using a Bluetooth connection to stay up-to-date and offer its services. The companion app works throughout Europe and the U.S. using an interactive map.
In the event of a suspected theft, it shares a unique code with police in order to facilitate real-time tracking. The device also sends your smartphone a notification if someone other than you moves your bike.
The built-in SIM card allows for 2-years of free connectivity with service costing around $3 per month after that.
Sherlock also features a 2-week battery life and, as you can see, is almost totally concealed. It costs around $160, which is much cheaper than paying for a new bike after yours gets stolen.
It is by far the best option for any cyclist who wants to hold on to their bike and hard earned money.
#2. Energy Monitoring Devices
Earlier this month, I wrote a little about data science apps like Apana that help people monitor water usage. You can incorporate various smart appliances into your home for this purpose, too.
Things like the Eve Home from Elgato Eve act as a “smart water controller”. That means you can conserve water use and save yourself money with this addition.
Like most IoT devices, you can control it using your voice or the companion app. The data is also encrypted and stored on your iPad or iPhone for more privacy.
After monitoring your resource use, you can set up a standard schedule. But once logged, the schedule works independently of wireless connection so you can “set it and forget it”.
There are plenty of options for this kind of thing out there, so you’ll need to do some research for the right device for you.
#3. Smart IoT Thermostats
This might be one of the best known IoT devices on the market today.
Nest, one of the most popular providers of smart thermostats, also offers alarm systems, cameras, locks, and doorbells. But the little thermostat resembling an old school “tap light” is a must-have moving forward.
The Nest smart temperature thermostat promises to “pay for itself in two years or less” with energy savings. It also uses remote temperature sensing and monitors when people are home or not to adjust temperature accordingly.
Depending on which model you get and discounts, you pay between $149 and $249.
But the best part is that you can control it from anywhere, so long as you have Wi-Fi. Of course, as with all IoT devices, this one is not hacker-proof.
Hackers hijacked a Nest device back in 2016, raising the owner’s home temperature to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The owner had to pay a ransom in order to get the PIN to unlock control.
Whether or not Nest addressed the root issues, these remain useful gadgets.
#4. Smart Finders
If you, like me, constantly lose your keys (and your mind along with them), something like Tile might be a good buy for you.
This IoT device can be attached to your keys, bags, and other items. It uses Bluetooth to emit a “loud tune” within a 100-foot radius of the device.
You can also use Tile to find your phone by double tapping the center “Tile” button. Your phone will then ring, even if it’s on silent.
The app allows you to see the “last location” of whatever the Tile is attached to. The company also boasts the “largest lost-and-found community” to crowdsource the finding of lost objects.
Though Bluetooth vulnerabilities or hijacking are still a possibility, the most damage a hacked Tile could do would be annoying with that same “loud tune”.
#5. Get a FitBit for Your Doggo
A FitBit or other fitness trackers can log your location, sleep quality, heart rate, and more.
Whistle does essentially all of this for your pet dog on top of general GPS tracking. It also helps monitor your dog’s activity levels.
Of course, tracking the sleep patterns of your dog seems a little over the top. However, when compared to an IoT espresso machine, Whistle doesn’t seem so bad.
Also, being able to see trends in your dog’s daily patterns can tell you if something’s wrong, which could save you thousands of dollars in vets bills in the long run. Even better, it might help catch an illness or condition in your pet before it’s too late.
IoT Devices Should Innovate, not Just Improve
Today there’s a lot of IoT devices on the market that provide WiFi capabilities for basically no reason. The best IoT devices are those that take something conventional and use the capabilities of our interconnected world to improve the owner’s life in a way that unconnected devices cannot.
Energy monitoring devices can save you time and money, just like smart thermostats. For anyone on a budget, these smart devices are an investment that will definitely pay off in the long run.