August 22, 2016
Ryan StanzelStaff Writer
It’s time you went on a smart home tour. Let Best Buy be your guide.
It’s our 50th anniversary, and we’re rolling out the welcome mat to Tech Home at Minnesota’s Mall of America to help celebrate Best Buy’s role of bringing the latest technology to you.
Tech Home is a hands-on display of all things smart home, seamlessly connecting devices and appliances in a kitchen, living room, bedroom, office space and entryway. It includes top options for Wi-Fi, security, comfort and organization — including gadgets from Samsung Smart Things, NETGEAR, Canon, Philips Hue, Qualcomm Technologies and more.
Tech Home, designed and built by Chandler, Inc., is open to the public, free and will be located in the Mall of America Rotunda through Sept. 17.
Here’s a quick walk-through:
It all starts with a good Wi-Fi network. If you don’t have a strong signal that can handle multiple devices and multiple users, your smart home’s IQ is going to be low.
Enter the NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi system, a series of devices throughout your house that liven up dead spots to make sure you have a good signal no matter where you are in the house (and no matter what device you use). Orbi will be on display for the first time ever within Tech Home.
Connected home devices not only need to talk to you, they also need to talk with one another. Samsung SmartThings is the easiest way to set up a smart home by helping you keep your devices connected and organized in one platform. Control hundreds of compatible smart devices — including lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors and more — all with the touch of your smartphone.
Want to keep your groceries in order? The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator has three cameras inside, accessible by smartphone app, so you can see what you need while at the grocery store. Save yourself a trip later in the day, and take your family to the park instead. It also lets you organize your groceries, especially items with expiration dates, based on when you bought them.
If you’re like us, you’ve got dozens of age-old vacation photos sitting on a hard drive instead being displayed to family and friends. Tech Home introduces us to the Canon Connect Station, which stores up to 150,000 photos or 70 hours of videos. Share them wirelessly to social media and friends around the world by syncing it with your Wi-Fi.
We’ve come a long way from window-unit air conditioners, dial thermostats and old-fashioned light switches.
Now, you can control your temperature from work, the car or even another country. You can let the ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat use its remote sensors to deliver the right temperature in each room.
Smart lighting can do many things – set the mood (dim the lights while watching television), help out with those wintertime blues (make it brighter, earlier), or tell your children when it’s time to do homework or come to dinner (use different colors of lighting to signal it’s time for a particular family activity).
But how? Use the Savant Remote to add Lamp Control to set the mood for movie night – then capture the scene and recall it anytime. You can also set your Smart TV to show the morning news or stream your favorite TV show. In the mood for music? The remote can play your favorite songs on the SONOS Play 1.
Peace of mind is a top priority of the connected home. No matter where you are — in your living room, at your office or on vacation — you can use your smartphone to see everything going on at home.
Many security cameras, like the Arlo HD from NETGEAR, are wireless and can be placed anywhere. And their two-way audio capabilities allow you to communicate with anyone at, or entering, your home.
These features also come in handy at your front door. Devices like Ring doorbell, Yale smart locks and smart garage door openers let you control who visits your home, whether you’re there or not. Imagine it’s raining and you’re expecting a package; now, you can talk to the delivery person through your doorbell, then open your garage or unlock your door so he can put your package inside the house and keep it dry – all while you’re watching, perhaps from thousands of miles away.
Pretty smart, huh?
You can check out Tech Home at the Mall of America Rotunda now through Sept. 17. Learn more about Best Buy’s smart home product selection online or in a store.