Thanks to Amazon Echo devices and Google Home the home automation trend has boomed this year. So, what are the best gifts to get for the people wanting to get into home automation?
Smart Assistant / Speakers
The first obvious choice is a smart speaker/assistant with the following options:
3 main options for different budgets, the Dot is excellent for anyone just wanting to access Alexa; it will allow you plug into an existing speaker so the end result can be cheaper and better sounding. The Echo generation 2 is a good price at £69.99, but sound quality could be better. For someone wanting a smart assistant with speaker, the Echo Plus is probably a better option and reduced to £109.99 at the moment
Alternatively, you can go to Google Home, which assistant is better appears to be mostly subjective. The home mini is just £34 at the moment from various retailers, and the full-sized Google Home is also reduced to £89.99.
If you want an actual smart speaker, the Google Home is probably a better choice than the Generation 2 Echo. However, the Echo Dot is easier to get to work with an existing speaker as it has an aux out.
Another option, if you have deeper pockets, is the excellent Sonos One which costs £179.10 but will offer far better audio than any of the Google or Amazon made products. Currently, it just has Alexa built in, but Google Assistant should be on the way.
I haven’t used this yet, but it is on my list of things to buy (or hopefully blag for a review). Great for keeping track of when parcel deliveries arrive, which is all the time for me.
All the above are great products to get into home automation. There are plenty of other fantastic devices and systems, but these are often more complex and expensive such as Z-Wave or Lightwave RF, so not ideal as a Christmas present or to start with.