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  • Ben Lake

Smart Devices I’ve Found Useful

So many devices these days can connect to the internet. This proliferation of “smart” devices goes by the name Internet Of Things, or “IoT” devices. Some are pretty silly, like my WiFi dishwasher. But others have given me that ‘how did I ever live without this?’ feeling. Here’s a shortlist of a few of my favorite smart devices.

Rachio makes a WiFi irrigation controller which I installed myself a few years ago. If you have an existing irrigation system it’s not too tricky to swap it out with this smart device. Besides being able to control zones from your phone, it can also look at the weather forecast to determine when to water – not just a simple rain sensor. It automatically adjusts durations seasonally and can stagger zones to maximize absorption and minimize runoff.

Many TVs are billed as smart, but they aren’t always intuitive and rarely are updated with new apps. A “streaming stick” will make any TV smart, and my favorite brand is Roku. With models starting at about $25, you can have access to all the latest streaming platforms in a simple interface. Other popular streaming sticks are the Amazon Firestick and Google Chromecast.

Do you have a favorite smart device that I didn’t list? Tell me about it so I can test it out!


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