5 Smarthome Devices You Shouldn’t Buy

young woman holding a wallet on fire
Denis Val / Shutterstock

All smart devices do not make sense. Many of them are expensive, difficult to use and offer little or no advantage over a typical "stupid" device. Do you really need a smart pillow or a smart fridge? No, you do not do it.

Smart refrigerators quickly become obsolete

Samsung Smart fridge
Samsung

When you buy a device such as a stove or refrigerator, you usually expect it to last several years. These are large and generally expensive investments, so you do not want to replace them every two or three years. Smart refrigerators are just adding to this investment, and certain cases cost $ 800 more than their "Beast" equivalent.

You may be able to justify the extra cost if the refrigerator lasts that long, but manufacturers have terrible balance sheet when it is about keeping the software in a smart fridge. Because of this, your expensive refrigerator may not even last a decade. And the features they offer, such as a touch screen interface or a voice assistant, can usually be replicated to a tablet. You'd better buy a normal refrigerator and install a tablet at the door. At least, if the tablet becomes obsolete, you can discard it and keep the refrigerator.

RELATED: Your expensive Smart Appliance may not last a decade

Your toilet does not need Bluetooth

A smart toilet Numi
Believe it or not, this boxy thing is a smart toilet. Kohler

Even at first glance, it's hard to accept the concept of smart toilets. And the recommendation not to buy one is a perfect example of too many complications and expenses for not enough benefits.

Think of what some toilets offer in an intelligent way: 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 replicate some of these features, like the Bluetooth speakers and night lights, and always use a standard toilet. You will save money too; Smart toilets can cost anywhere between $ 900 and $ 8000. And that does not often include the cost of installation, which may require an electrician if you do not have practical wiring for your toilet.

A standard toilet does not require electrical work and can go from $100 at $ 320 depending on optional features such as a dual flush system that helps reduce water consumption.

Smart pillows are not even pillows

Woman sleeping on a pillow ZEEQ Smart
REM-Fit

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

Paying for a good pillow on which 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: it's usually an insert.

Since the devices are just inserts, you are supposed to provide your own pillow and insert the tracking device. This means that you have to spend $ 200 for a gadget and more money for a good pillow if you want to have a good night's sleep.

You may already have another device with similar sleep tracking promises: Apple Watch or a FitBit. Since the money from your watch is already spent, you'd better use it to track your sleep and use the extra money left over to buy a more pleasurable pillow to be able to sleep better.

Smart water bottles are completely useless

A woman drinking at a smart water bottle.
Hidrate Spark

Smart water bottles exist on a basic place. "You probably do not drink enough water." Some will even say that it was wise to drink eight glasses a day. There is, however, a problem: the rule of eight glasses of water a day is nonsense. You do not need to drink as much water.

Some smart water bottles try to change things by making suggestions based on your weight, your activity, etc., but the truth is that there are no studies available. conclusive that accurately describe what a person should drink daily, even according to his weight or his exercise.

Even worse, your body is receiving water from other sources. From drinks like coffee and sodas to foods like soup and fruits (or any other food, really), you put water in your body. And a smart water bottle can not keep up with all that, so it may not be a good method to monitor your level of hydration.

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

So you do not have to pay for an extra bottle to tell you something your body already knows. Especially if you consider that you can buy a standard 32oz water bottle for less than $ 10and yet spend more than $ 50 on a smart bottle of 12 oz.

Companions of intelligent robots may lose their personality

An Anki Vector robot sleeping.
We'll miss you, Vector, can you sleep peacefully? Josh Hendrickson

A few companies have tried to create smart robot companions for your home and have so far a few things in common. They tend to be cute, voice-activated and eventually the company folds and the robot becomes a clipboard.

This is the problem. At the present time, most (if not all) smart robot companions who have arrived at home work a lot like Alexa or Google Assistant. The equipment in your house does not have a lot of intelligence. When you talk to him, he reaches the cloud, which gives the robot his personality.

Unfortunately, as with Jibo and Vector, making robots profitable is very difficult. The companies behind the two announce stops and, when they go, the clouds feed the robots. Jibo sang one last song while his personality died. As for Vector, his character remains intact to this day, but Anki does not know how long it will last.

In a statement, Anki said contractual employees to maintain Vector and its cloud servers, but with no better source of revenue, it's hard to imagine that it will last forever. Disturbingly, you can always find Vector for sale, although the list is transparent about the judgment.

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

Find the right Smarthome Tech

There is smart technology for the smart home. We like video doorbells, for example. Although they cost a lot more than a standard doorbell, the extra features justify the extra cost. Smart light bulbs are a worthwhile investment because they add some convenience, such as voice commands, while remaining in the low cost range.

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

When it comes to tech smarthome, you should look at a mix of things. How much does the smart version cost compared to the standard version? How long has the manufacturer existed and to what extent does it support the products? What are the amenities and features you earn? And what complications will you introduce?

No single answer to the questions above is always a deciding factor for the purchase. That's how everything comes together to separate the smart water bottle from smart filters or the bad from the good.

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