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How To Mix Technology and Design & A Best Buy Giveaway

by - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm not much of a technology person. It's not that I'm adverse to new technologies but I can be slow to adopt them. I still subscribe to cable, I still have a home phone landline, and I only learned how to use the wireless function on my year old printer in the last month, thank you very much. So when Best Buy invited me to come see their Smart Home at the National Home Show I was intrigued... what fancy new things have I been missing out on, with my old-fogey ways?

The Best Buy booth was designed by Christine Dovey, so not only did I see the latest gadgets, I saw how they could be integrated seamlessly into a beautiful home. I must admit, part of my hesitancy with bringing new technologies into my home is because they can be so unattractive. Bulky black boxes, cords, too many remote controls... not so pretty! But how things have changed.

Have a look at this fridge. It's the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator and was my favourite thing I saw at the booth. It really is command central and has the ability to:
- show a slideshow of your photos or display your Google Calendar (no more messy photos or memo notes stuck to the fridge door!)
- stream music or tv
- display recipes
- interior cameras show what food is inside your fridge. You can connect with your phone from anywhere, even while you're in the middle of the grocery aisle

Not to mention it has sleek styling (the touch screen eliminates the need for control buttons inside) and really attractive low profile handles.

In general, home technology has become smaller, less obtrusive, and increasingly wireless. Can you spot the home security system control panel in this photo? It's the small round object on the counter and it connects over WiFi to the sensors around your home.

Another product I loved was the Philips Hue system. Now you can bring the colours of the rainbow into your lighting. From bulbs to lamps and striplights, you can instantly change the mood in your home and control all the lights from a single smart switch. I love how it's applied here in the vent hood. Turn the striplights soft blue for a chill dinner party or vibrant orange for cocktails in the kitchen.

Christine used more of the Hue lights here in the den. The pair of Hue Bloom lights flanking the tv act as spotlights, creating a cozy atmosphere and detracting from the bulkiness of the tv.

Pretty vignettes all around. Look how tiny the Nest thermostats have become!

From a design perspective, this room was the most surprising. A few things that might not be so obvious:
- you can control most of the home devices (tv, sound bar, lights) from a single remote
- you can put devices like the router behind closed doors and they'll still work

Does the idea of making multiple devices 'talk' to each other make you sweat? Me too. Luckily, Best Buy's Geek Squad will come into your home and do installation, synching, and teach you how to use your devices. And here I thought they only did computer repairs!


Now it's your turn to get up close and personal with some of these home technology products. I have a Best Buy Smart Home Prize Pack to give away containing:
- a Philips Hue A19 Smart LED Light Bulb Starter Kit ($199.99)
- a Nest Learning Thermostat ($299.99)

To enter, leave a comment telling me what new technology product you'd love to try. For me, it would have to be the Philips Hue lights. How cool would it be to have them outdoors for summer entertaining?

Contest closes midnight Sunday March 20th. Contest open to Canadian residents excluding Quebec. Good luck!


Disclosure: This post and giveaway has been sponsored by Best Buy. All opinions expressed are my own.


UPDATE: The winner of the Best Buy Smart Home Giveaway is... Casey! Congratulations. Your prizes will be headed your way soon.

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