Washington Family Magazine : March 2015
washingtonFAMILY.com March 2015 19 Where is everyone? SEN.SE® sen.se/store/mother Since “Big Brother” sounds a little daunting, Sen.se’s Mother is a more genteel title for this sensing device that can be placed anywhere in the home to monitor movement in the house, among other things. Just affix small motion cookies (yes, they are shaped like cookies) wherever you want to sense motion. Receive a notification when your children return safely from school (or know the real time your teen returned home last night). Or monitor the temperature of various rooms of the house (or the fridge, in case of an outage). You can even measure the quality of your sleep and be woken up gently at a set time. Now isn’t that what mothers are for? Who let the dogs out? TaggTM pettracker.com/tagg-go The Tagg mobile app can track your pet’s location and activity levels. Need to hop in your car and scout the neighborhood for Fido? Tagg will give you directions to his exact location. Are you sending him to a kennel and wanting to keep track of his activity level? You can get 24/7 tracking data to see how much activity he’s really getting. Don’t wake the baby! Baby ShusherTM iTunes App (or Stand-Alone Product) I was once interviewing a local photographer who specializes in children and babies. I was amazed at how peaceful her infant subjects were. One trick up her sleeve was the Baby Shusher app on her phone. It was literally a “shush” sound that engages a baby’s natural calming reflex by reminding them of still being in the womb. Alternately, the Baby Shusher also comes as a battery operated, stand-alone product (babyshusher. com). I may just buy it for my own insomnia. Keeping up with the Joneses. Rachio Smart SprinklerTM rach.io/smart-sprinkler Is your neighbor’s grass greener on the other side? Unlike manual sprinkler timers, the Rachio can be programmed to run only when water is needed (and not when it’s raining). Their smart irrigation system controller, Iro, can maintain your watering schedule and reduce your water bills. For you over-the-top enthusiasts and geeks at heart. littleBitsTM Electronics littlebits.cc You’ve got a scathingly brilliant idea about something you want to automate in your home, and you’re a do-it-yourselfer. Their Smart Home Kit can turn any object into an automated device. If you like to play with electronics, their magnetic, snap-together modules will leave your imagination running wild. Create a pet feeder, have your curtains open at sunrise, or get alerted when your dog is barking. The whole house and nothing but the house. SmartThings® shop.smartthings.com Want to skip all the individual products and invest in the whole kit and caboodle of smart-home products? You can invest in a variety of SmartThings kits for your needs. Lighting, energy saving features, home security, thermostats, motion sensors, etc., can be purchased in one kit. Catherine DeCenzo is an independent professional writer who has a penchant for the humorous side of life on her blog, Cat’s Out of the Bag, at catclause. wordpress.com. A former women’s lifestyle magazine editor and contributor, an archive of her articles can be found on her LinkedIn page. She can be reached at email@example.com.