5 Smarthome Devices You Shouldn’t Buy

young woman holding a burning wallet
Denis Val / Shutterstock

Not all smarthome devices make sense to buy. Many are expensive, difficult to use, and offer little to no benefit over a typical "stupid" device. Do you really need a smart pillow or a smart fridge? No no.

Smart refrigerators are rapidly becoming obsolete

Samsung smart fridge
Samsung

When you buy an appliance like a stove or fridge, you usually expect it to last for several years. These are large and generally expensive investments, so you don't have to replace them every two or three years. Smart refrigerators only add to this investment, and certain cases costs $ 800 more than their "Stupid" equivalent.

You may be able to justify the additional cost if the refrigerator lasts that long, but the manufacturers terrible track record when it comes to keeping the software in a smart fridge. For this reason, your expensive refrigerator may not even a decade. And the features they offer, like a touchscreen interface or a voice assistant, can usually be replicated by a tablet. You'd better buy a normal refrigerator and mount a shelf on the door. At least, if the tablet becomes obsolete, you can throw it away and keep the refrigerator.

RELATED: Your expensive smart device may not last a decade

Your toilet doesn't need Bluetooth

A Numi smart toilet
Believe it or not, this box-shaped thing is a smart toilet. Kohler

Even at first glance, it is difficult to get behind the concept of smart toilets. And the recommendation against buying one is a perfect example of too many complications and spending for not enough benefits.

Consider what some toilets offer: heated seats, night lights, remote controls, Bluetooth speakers and adjustable water temperature. Some offer touch screens to set preferences; others boast of better use of water.

But you can reproduce some of these features, like Bluetooth speakers and night lights, and always use a standard toilet. You would also save money; smart toilets can cost between $ 900 and $ 8,000. And that often doesn't include the cost of installation, which may require an electrician if you don't have practical wiring for your toilet.

A standard toilet does not require electrical work and can range from $100 at $ 320 depending on optional features like a dual flush system, which saves water.

Smart pillows aren't even pillows

Sleeping woman on a ZEEQ smart pillow
REM-Fit

Smart pillows are a strange offer. They promise to do everything, track your sleep by measuring your heart rate, or even stop you from snoring. But they are not cheap. A smart pillow will often work in the $ 200 range.

Paying for a good pillow where you can fall asleep and wake up the next day without neck pain is worth an extra expense. But there is a problem with smart pillows – they are usually just an insert.

Since the devices are only inserts, you must provide your own pillow and insert the tracking device. So that means you have to spend $ 200 on a gadget and more money on a good pillow if you want to get a good night's sleep.

You may already have another device that makes similar sleep tracking promises, Apple Watch or FitBit. Since the money for your watch is already spent, you'd better use it to track your sleep and use the remaining money to buy a more comfortable pillow so you can sleep better.

Smart water bottles are completely useless

A woman drinking from a bottle of smart water.
Hidrate spark

Smart water bottles exist on a basic principle. "You are probably not drinking enough water." Some will even boast of the old wisdom of drinking eight glasses a day. But there is a problem: the rule of eight glasses of water a day is completely absurd. You don't need to drink as much water.

Some smart water bottles try to make a difference by making suggestions based on your weight, activity, etc., but the truth is that there is no conclusive study that accurately describes what a person should drink daily, even based on weight or exercise.

Worse yet, your body receives water from other sources. From drinks like coffee and sodas to foods like soup and fruit (or any food, really), you put water in your body. And a smart water bottle can't track all of that, so it can't be a good method to monitor your hydration level.

However, you already have a mechanism to help you in this decision-making process: thirst. As long as you drink regularly, especially when you are exercising, you should be fine. And your body will tell you, out of thirst, when you really need to drink something now.

So there is no need to pay extra for a bottle to tell you something your body already knows. Especially when you consider that you can buy a standard 32 ounce water bottle for less than $ 10and yet spend over $ 50 on a 12 oz smart bottle.

Companions of intelligent robots could lose their personality

A sleeping Anki Vector robot.
We will miss you Vector, may you sleep peacefully. Josh Hendrickson

A few companies have tried to make smart robotic companions for your home, and so far they all have a few things in common. They tend to be cute, voice-activated, and ultimately, the business folds up and the robot becomes a clipboard.

The latter is the problem. At the moment, most (if not all) of the smart robot mates who arrived at home work much like Alexa or Google Assistant. The hardware in your home is not very intelligent. When you talk to it, it reaches the cloud, which ultimately gives the robot its personality.

Unfortunately, as seen with Jibo and Vector, making robots profitably is very difficult. The companies behind the two have announced closings, and when they leave, clouds power the robots. Jibo celebrated a last song while his personality died. And as for Vector, his character remains intact to this day, but Anki has not been clear how long it will last.

(integrated) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQMDJtgzo10 (/ integrated)

In a statement, Anki said contract employees to maintain Vector and its cloud servers, but without a better source of income, it's hard to imagine that it will last forever. Worryingly you can still find Vector for sale, although the list is transparent on the shutdown.

A smart robot may seem like a great addition to the home, and we loved our Vector robot, but right now the market is too unstable to recommend one for your smart home.

Find the right Smarthome technology

Valuable smart home technologies exist. We like video doorbells, for example. Although they cost much more than a standard doorbell, the additional features justify the additional cost. Smart light bulbs are an attractive investment as they add convenience like voice commands while remaining in the inexpensive range.

And for a great example of features added at minimal cost, take a look at smart air filters. For an additional $ 5, your filter will monitor itself, tell you when to replace it, and even order a new one if you allow it.

When it comes to smarthome technology, you should take a look at a mix of things. How much does the smart version cost compared to the standard version? How long has the manufacturer been in existence and to what extent has it supported the products? What amenities and features do you gain? And what complications are you going to introduce?

No single answer to the above questions is always a break or a good reason to buy. This is how it all comes together that really separates the smart water bottle from the smart filters or the bad from the good.

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