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Next-generation gadgets reshape home life

The spring edition of CNET Magazine takes an in-depth look at “smart homes,” from the living room to the garden
The spring edition of CNET Magazine takes an ... 03:02

The spring edition of CNET magazine examines "Smart Homes," a look at the next-generation gadgets that will reshape home life. The devices differ in their areas of expertise but they all have one thing in common, giving users remote control of their homes.

One device, a Nest thermostat, lets you control the temperature in your home from your mobile device.

Another is the August Smart Lock that goes right on to your existing door deadbolt that you can also control from your phone. With this device, you can also use it to handout temporary access to the home via virtual keys on other people's phones. For a babysitter or visitor you can give them the key for a certain amount of time, but set it to expire when you wish.

The next gadget that editor-in-chief of CNET Magazine Lindsey Turrentine calls a "game changer" is a new and improved ceiling fan. The company is called "Big Ass Fans." The bamboo fan will set you back about $1,000, but the high-tech device will coordinate with your phone or Nest thermostat to keep the room at exactly the temperature you want.

The next exciting device is a Chamberlain garage door that works with several different smart home systems, but is set to also work with Siri in the future. This way, you can use Siri to control the garage door remotely.

Last but not least are some technological developments outside of the house, in the garden. One apparatus is called a Parrot, it monitors the water levels in the plants and will send you alerts when your plants require some care. The Eden, due out in April, will actually be able to water your plants for you.

While some may question the security of digital devices controlling such important areas of everyday life, Turrentine says a lot of times the devices make her feel even more secure than she did before. With the smart lock, for example, you no longer have physical keys in the world that could mistakenly fall into the wrong hands.

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