The sheer magnitude of noise, commotion and fast talking and walking people at CES 2016 can be overwhelming so we were exhausted and excited to be among the 170,000 people at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 3D printers, virtual reality and self-driving cars were popular but we looked at how technology can help homeowners. Here are a few highlights.
We liked MyLifter, a motorized overhead storage device controlled by a smartphone or tablet. The kit includes a platform where you stack up your items and hoist it to the ceiling where you’ve installed the hardware. Get the app from the website mylifter.com and use your cell phone to control the operation.
Many of the drone exhibitors were surprised when we asked: “What size drone would be appropriate for checking damage on a roof or how much debris was in the gutters?” The consensus was a $400 unit that was easy to control and operate with a good HD camera. I know many homeowners who could rationalize that expense especially if they own a two-story house and could avoid hoisting an extension ladder up there on some cold windy day when a leak was noticed in their ceiling. It seems like a good investment for a contractor or home inspector, too.
Everyone talks about the IoT (Internet of Things) which will connect all the devices in a home so you can operate and manage them from a cell phone. We were impressed with the Nexia system at www.nexiahome.com built on an open architecture platform, which means it works with products from a number of different manufacturers. That gives a homeowner the choice of using products they choose based on their need and budget.
I’m not sure homeowners are ready to commit on a major scale, but there’s a real convenience factor using one system to manage the irrigation system for the yard, turning on lights inside and outside before returning home on a dark night, and knowing the heating and cooling system was operating.
To compare the cost of doing it yourself vs. hiring a contractor for hundreds of home improvement projects visit us at www.diyornot.com.