It’s an exciting time for tech-heads. That’s because the incredibly high-level technology now available can be more easily integrated into your home to make your living space a cutting-edge utopia. While some of this technology has been around for a while or has been out of reach to most people due to high costs, as with all new tech, prices are dropping all the time. That means it’s never been easier to embrace your love of the high-tech and start making life more comfortable at home. If you want the ultimate in cutting edge lifestyles, here is the home tech you won’t want to live without in 2020.
Getting the obvious one out of the way first, most technology fanatics will already have at least one smart device in their home. Home connectivity is no longer reserved for science fiction films or superhero comics. Now, anyone can connect their home appliances and fixtures more efficiently than ever before. There are plenty of options to choose from as well. If your home isn’t yet prepared for the Internet of Things, then here are some of the best ways to get your living space more connected than ever.
1: The Echo
This Bluetooth speaker is powered by Amazon’s handy Alexa, and that means that it can be more than just a voice assistant. The Echo can be connected to a vast range of smart home devices, and for those worried because they have invested in alternative smart speakers like Siri or Cortana, there is a solution. All of your home assistant devices can now be connected via If This Then That, an incredibly useful app that allows you to combine your smart home technology no matter who made it or what OS it works on. However, it’s hard to beat the Echo, especially if you add the touchscreen add-ons to it. Choose from the Echo Spot or Echo Show 5 and you no longer have to limit yourself to spoken search engine queries, and you can even make video calls too.
2. Universal Remotes
Not everyone likes talking to their home technology, and for those people, it can be frustrating to have to ask Alexa, Google, or Siri to do things. The good news is that you can now get your hands on universal smart remotes like the Logitech Harmony Elite. These take the concept of the universal remote control (previously only purchased when you’ve lost your TV remote) and upgrades it to the new century. Able to control much more than your TV or your home stereo system, you can now point and click at the included home hub and take control of any device that works via Bluetooth, infrared, Zigbee, or WiFi.
3. Plug Solutions
One of the main criticisms of home connectivity is that you used to have to buy a smart plug for every single appliance. If you want your bedside lamps to be smart controlled, then you need a smart plug for each one, plus one for your TV, one for your microwave, coffee machine and anything else. Now, you can cut down on those separate plug options and simply get a smart power strip. There are plenty of smart home strips available, and they act like traditional extension leads with multiple sockets. Simply plug yours in, and you can start adding your appliances to gain control. Options like the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300 can even be controlled by your phone with a simple app. Not only that, but you also get a lot more control over your energy use monitoring as well.
4. Home Security
With all of that cutting edge tech at home, you want to keep it safe. While smart security cameras have been available for a while now, you can also give your property some new lines of intelligent defence with the latest in third-generation smart locks. There are plenty to choose from, but you can’t go far wrong with the original August Smart Lock or the most recent Smart Lock Pro + Connect. These are simple to set up and connect and are easily controlled from anywhere with your Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant apps. Not only that, but they look very sleek as well.
There’s a direct link between those that love technology and those that love gaming. In 2020, gaming is set to explode in entirely new directions, and for tech-heads that means more toys to play with. If you enjoy spending time immersed in other worlds and testing your memory and reflexes (or you just like shooting aliens), then here are some essential items to add to your shopping cart.
1. Virtual Reality
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that VR will never quite realise its potential. Although VR tech has been available for a few years now, 2020 is set to be the year that it becomes something that’s going to be a must-have. That’s not just due to the steady improvements to the technology either. The big boost this year is all down to gaming company Valve, who announced in late 2019 that they were going to (finally) release a brand new edition of the hugely popular title Half-Life. The gaming community went into a frenzy after this announcement, and with it being a VR game, there is expected to be a massive surge in purchases of VR kits solely because of Half-Life: Alyx.
2. The Console Wars
The last few years of console activity have been pretty quiet. Most gamers have already got their console of choice, whether it’s an Xbox One or Playstation 4. 2020 is undoubtedly going to shake things up a bit, thanks to the next in intergenerational upgrades. Nintendo changed the console landscape with the release of the Switch, and with games like Fortnite causing a shift in how gaming can be delivered into the home, the console wars of 2020 are certainly going to be exciting. It’s impossible to recommend which console will be best for you because everyone is already going to have their preferences. However, with the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5, along with new versions of Halo and Last of Us, the console wars are going to be very exciting for tech-heads that love gaming.
It’s one thing to be able to get online, but it’s another thing entirely to get the right speeds and consistencies. Unreliable internet suppliers, outdated modems, and smartphone connections are set to get much more reliable in 2020, and that’s good news for anyone that wants to improve their home tech.
Although it has been pushed for a few years, 5G has remained frustratingly out of reach for most people in the world. That new format for cellular connectivity has made little impact so far, but that looks like it’s going to change this year. Driven mainly by the demand for more integrated IoT in the home, 5G is only going to become more prolific as the year goes on. There is also a range of cell-boosting products that could see your phone less likely to lose connection when you most need it.
2. Gigabit Modems
This is something that every home is going to want, no matter how much you love or loathe technology. Currently, home routers are very limited in terms of speed, but with the new DOCSIS 3.1 technology, we will now have access to Gigabit modems. These are going to change the way that you use the internet at home. Up to twenty times faster than current models, homeowners will now be able to take advantage of 10gigbits per second. Tech-heads who have been demanding this access for years have previously had to rely on costly fibre cables to get close, but with a wide range of options to choose from, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem is set to be the next big must-have for homes in 2020.
Health and Wellness
Technology and health have long gone hand-in-hand, and 2020 is going to see some fantastic home technologies that have a very positive effect on your health levels. From virtual workouts to wearable technologies, here are some of the most tech-savvy ways to look after your mind and body in 2020.
1. Virtual Fitness
Of all of the new technologies available in 2020, online home instructors might not be the highest in-demand product for consumers. However, that’s set to change with the delivery of the Mirror. This means of transforming your home workouts is set to become the next big thing in home exercise. When turned off, the Mirror is simply that: a mirror. However, turn it on, and you can take part in live-streamed classes, or choose from up to 70 pre-planned workouts. As you exercise, you can see yourself in the Mirror, plus your instructor (and other class participants if you’re in a live session). Even with the pre-programmed routines that you follow, your instructor will be able to shout encouragement when you need it.
There aren’t going to be any significant leaps forward in the standard wearables for the health and wellness market. After all, the current level of smartwatches and monitors is already more than enough for even the most tech-aware among us. However, one new technology could be about to change the notion of wearables. Ayo Light Therapy Glasses are less about monitoring heart rate, calorie intake, and sleep patterns. Instead, they are wearable tech that promises to help with insomnia, give users an energy boost, and even help to combat depression. By emitting blue light, these therapy glasses cause stimulation in your eye’s sensory cells, meaning that they could also help to alleviate jet lag too. With promises of better sleep and higher energy levels, this could be a tech trend that gains enormous traction in 2020.
2020 is going to be a good year for people that love to surround themselves with technology. Don’t rush to buy the Next Big Thing. Take your time and be aware of the new releases that are still waiting to come out. Take your time to get your home technology right and your home could be the cutting-edge living space that you’ve always dreamed of.