In Total Control of the Room

Open doors, adjust the heat, and turn on the lights with the touch of an app. The latest smart gadgets are finally intelligent enough to do your bidding. Welcome to the remote-controlled bachelor pad.
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Open doors, adjust the heat, and turn on the lights with the touch of an app. The latest smart gadgets are finally intelligent enough to do your bidding. Welcome to the remote-controlled bachelor pad.
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1. Unlock Your Doors from Anywhere: August Smart Lock

What is it? An easy-to-install interior lock cover that takes command of your dead bolt. It responds to digital “keys” on your phone and automatically unlocks when it senses your arrival and locks when you depart. Misplace your phone? You can still access the lock with a key like a plebeian. 

Killer feature: No need to worry about giving guests a spare—with a few taps of the August app, you can reward (or refuse) access to anyone, from your girlfriend to the cable guy. [$199; august.com]

2. Feed Your Pet from Afar: Petnet

What is it? An automatic pet feeder. Fill it with hard food and, through its beautifully designed app, you can schedule feedings and track your pet’s intake from anywhere. It’s smart enough to dole out just the right amount of kibble for Fido. 

Killer feature: Before each feeding, Petnet can play a recording of your voice, tricking your pooch into loving you every time the device dishes out some grub. [$200; petnet.io]

3. Control the Climate: Lyric Thermostat

What is it? An intelligent thermostat that not only lets you raise or lower temperature via your phone from anywhere but also automatically adjusts settings based on your heating and cooling habits. 

Killer feature: The Lyric monitors the actual feel of the temperature, accounting for such factors as humidity. [$279; lyric.honeywell.com]

4. Keep Watch While You're Away: Dropcam Pro

What is it? A security camera with a 130-degree field of view that sends real-time footage to your phone. You can watch a live feed, listen in on any action, and, thanks to the cam’s speaker, spook intruders or friends from afar.

Killer feature: It sends you alerts when it senses movement. That way you can tune in when your dogs get friendly with the couch. [$199;dropcam.com]

5. Stay on Top of Emergencies: Nest Protect

What is it? A slickly designed smoke detector, it’s intelligent enough to sense both carbon monoxide and smoke, lets you shush false alarms with a simple wave, and sends alerts to your phone when you’re away. 

Killer feature: No ear-splitting screech here—the Nest relays emergency information in a calm voice. [$99;nest.com]

6. Set the Mood for Any Occasion: Philips Hue

What is it? A lightbulb with a nearly unlimited array of colors. Paired with a wi-fi hub, the bulb, which screws into any socket, lets you adjust intensity and, well, hue from your mobile device. You can personalize settings to fit every occasion, be it a romantic evening or a rowdy night of poker with the guys.

Killer feature: Find a photo you like and the bulb can mimic its exact color and brightness. [From $50;meethue.com]

7. Adjust the Tint of Your Windows: Sonte Digital Shade

What is it? A wi-fi-enabled film you affix to any window. Through an app, you change it from transparent to opaque and back again. Who needs curtains?

Killer feature: When the film is in opaque mode, you can use the window as a makeshift projection screen. [$33 per square foot, $95 for wi-fi hub; sonte.com]

8. Rule Your Entertainment Center: Logitech Harmony Ultimate

What is it? A glossy box that communicates with your phone, transforming it into a responsive, well-organized universal remote capable of commanding everything from your stereo to Xbox One. 

Killer feature: Forget turning on the TV, game console, and speakers separately—the Ultimate lets you customize options like “watch a movie” that send commands to all components at once. [$350;logitech.com]

Photos by Jeong Suh