Smart Home


Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2019 Awards

  Berlin’s annual IFA show is the largest consumer electronics event in Europe with “more digital lifestyle products in one place than any other show worldwide.” After walking the show floor, sitting in on private pre-briefings, standing inside packed press conferences, and attending media-only showcase events, these are the items we’ve chosen for Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2019 Awards.




Harmony Express Is the Simplest but Most Powerful Harmony Remote Yet

My living room home theater has gotten a bit too complex. There are remotes for the cable box, for the TV, for the Apple TV, and the Amazon Fire TV Cube. I’ve tried universal remotes but came back to using the individual devices. With the new Harmony Express, I’ve finally found a universal remote that works for me.



Ecovacs Deebot 500 Is a Great Robot Vacuum That’s Easy on the Wallet

In a world of expensive robot vacuums, the Ecovacs Deebot 500 is an affordable option for families looking for a quality clean without spending a fortune. Deebot 500 is compatible with smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and can also be controlled via the Ecovacs mobile app. The Deebot 500 retails for $279.99.



Satechi Gets Smart with HomeKit-Enabled Dual Outlet

We all know that Apple is pretty finicky when it comes to opening up access to their HomeKit products. We’ve covered plenty, but the Dual Smart Outlet by Satechi is one of the few that manages to knock smart accessories out of the park in both price, and practicality.




Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro Improves Protection

I have been using the Vivint Smart Home for some time, and it has really become a regular part of our lives. The initial install and thoughts can be found here (pt1) and here (pt2). The Outdoor Camera Pro has since been released, and I have had the chance to take a look at it. The new camera and features are fantastic.




Gear Diary’s 2019 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and if you’ve been racking your brain for some great gifts that think outside of the sock drawer and toolbox, then we’ve got you covered. Regardless of your budget, this gift guide will have something perfect for the dads in your life.


Eufy Continues to Impress with the Wi-Fi Connected RoboVac 35C

Our friends at Eufy and Anker continue to iterate and improve their products, as evidenced with the Eufy RoboVac 35C. The 35C is very similar to the Eufy RoboVac 30C we previously reviewed, however, it adds a touch control panel to the top of the vacuum. Also, the RoboVac 35C is sold through retail, while the 30C is sold via Amazon.


Neato D7 Connected Is an Improvement from the D6, Especially If You Have Pets

Having recently reviewed the D6 Robot Vac by Neato, I already knew what to expect from their products, but boy was I in for a treat when I received the Neato Botvac D7 Connected. Not only was I amazed by its ability to navigate my home, but even more by how more refined this particular model truly was. At $829, it’s certainly not the cheapest robot vacuum cleaner on the market, but using it for the past few months, it’s…



Nanoleaf Canvas Is Gorgeous Kinetic Art That Adds Brilliance to Any Space

Nanoleaf made a name for themselves with their color-changing triangular-shaped Light Panels back in 2016. Now they’ve upped the ante with the Nanoleaf Canvas; light squares with edge-to-edge illumination, built-in sound reactivity, touch sensitivity, and a whole lot more. Canvas is a beautiful piece of kinetic artwork that adds brilliant light and a sense of playfulness to any space.


BoxLock Is a Clever Smart Lock Aiming to Thwart Porch Pirates

BoxLock is a clever smart lock that will protect your precious packages from porch pirates after they’ve been delivered. When paired with a secure parcel box, BoxLock is a strong line of defense to thwart package thieves. BoxLock has a built-in barcode scanner, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity, and a 30+ day rechargeable battery. BoxLock retails for $129.


Protect Your Home from Water Damage with GROHE Sense Guard

High-end plumbing fixture manufacturer GROHE has entered the smarthome market with their new GROHE Sense Guard water controller. The Sense Guard monitors your water consumption, can detect micro leaks, and will protect your home in the event of a pipe burst. When paired with the GROHE Sense accessory, you’ve got an outstanding system to protect your home against water damage.