By this point, you’re probably familiar with the Internet of Things (IoT). It is made up of gadgets that come in all shapes and sizes. However, they have one thing in common—they connect to the internet to let you take control of other things in your home.
Whether it’s a connected doorbell that lets you see who’s at the door or a smart outlet that lets you turn on your lights from afar, IoT devices make life easier. However, shopping for someone that loves IoT gadgets isn’t always easy.
That’s why The Burn-In has compiled this list of the five best IoT gadgets that you can give someone this holiday season.
Of course, keep in mind that the IoT space is practically endless. There are plenty of other great options out there. These five are versatile and will work with almost any smart home. They also play nicely with other IoT devices, making them perfect gifts whether your recipient already has a collection of smart gadgets or is just starting out.
Without further ado, these are some of the best IoT gifts of 2020.
Google Nest Mini
A connected speaker is an essential component of any smart home. It lets you listen to music, get updates on the weather, and control your other smart devices all with your voice. Although there are a few suitable options on the market, none match the Google Nest Mini.
This sleek smart speaker has everything you need in an IoT gadget and comes at an affordable price. Google’s smallest connected speaker has all the capabilities of its larger devices (except for a screen, obviously). However, its small form factor and equally small price tag make it a perfect way to add some smart features to every room of the house.
Putting a Google Nest Mini in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room makes it possible for you to control all of your other smart devices from anywhere. The smart speaker gives you access to Google Assistant, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) helper that can do just about anything you ask it to.
Meanwhile, Google Nest Mini performs admirably as a speaker and delivers a great listening experience with surprising levels of volume. For anyone that’s interested in the IoT space, it is a must-have gadget.
Ring Video Doorbell 3
Anyone that uses social media has likely seen a video that someone captured from their video doorbell. Whether it’s a dancing delivery driver or a visitor coming to say hello, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 gives you a set of eyes at the front door.
The latest model records video in 1080p HD so you can see exactly who’s there. It also features motion detection and can automatically turn on when it senses that someone is nearby.
The Ring doorbell doesn’t just record video, though. It also captures audio and lets you communicate with whoever is at the door in real-time through the Ring smartphone app. You can even use an Alexa-enabled device to communicate through the doorbell.
For those who don’t like the sound of a hardware installation project, never fear. Getting the Ring doorbell up and running couldn’t be easier. All the necessary hardware and mounting tools come inside the box and setting the device up with the Ring app only takes a few minutes.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini
Much like a smart speaker is an essential part of an IoT-friendly home, a collection of smart plugs is equally important. These nifty devices let you turn almost any item into a smarter version of itself.
The Kasa Smart Plug Mini from TP-Link is one of the best options on the market. Its compact size means that it doesn’t cover up your other outlets. Meanwhile, a reliable 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection keeps your devices connected at all times.
You can use the Kasa Smart Plug Mini with the Kasa app or control it with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana.
Almost any device can get plugged into the smart outlet. For instance, using it with a lamp lets you turn the lights on and off with your voice. Using it with the coffee pot gets your morning cup of joe ready before you even get to the kitchen. With a smart plug, your entire home becomes a world of IoT possibilities.
Philips Hue Gradient LightStrip
Although colored lights might not add any functionality to your home, they can transform it into a much more enjoyable space. There are plenty of cheap LED options available. However, none of them can match the wow-factor delivered by the Philips Hue Gradient LightStrip.
This connected LED light strip syncs with your TV or computer monitor to create immersive background lighting that matches what you see on the screen. An explosion in “Call of Duty” will create a splash of bright orange light behind the TV. An underwater scene in a movie creates a deep blue hue on the wall.
Philip’s high-tech Hue Gradient LightStrip comes in several sizes, making it compatible with almost any TV. It is the perfect way to add an immersive splash of color to your smart home.
Nest Thermostat (2020 Edition)
Smart thermostats aren’t a new type of IoT gadget. They have been around for several years and are available from a variety of manufacturers. Recently, Google dropped its latest version, dubbed the Nest Thermostat.
Despite the simple name, the device is the latest in a long line of smart thermostats with the Nest branding. The latest model features a slim form factor that looks much better in a modern home than some of the older units.
It has a new touch-sensitive dial on the exterior that makes it easy to manually adjust the temperature and other thermostat controls. Of course, you can also use Google Assistant or the Google Home app to control the device.
A feature called savings finder continuously analyzes your home’s energy use to find ways to save money while keeping you comfortable. The Nest Thermostat is one of the best ways to add some smart features to your home.