Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family this summer.
Fact: more people than ever are sing mobile technology as a tool to help run their daily lives. Devices can be controlled from across the room or across the country. My car’s alarm can be activated when I’m nowhere near it. (I know this because my dear husband like to mess with me and set it off when I’m at work.) I can check my oil levels and diagnostics just by using an app. Convenient right? You know what else is convenient? How a variety of connected home devices used in conjunction with the latest mobile devices such as the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as well as a fast, high-quality network, can make it easier to gain greater peace of mind when traveling this summer.
This makes me a happy girl because our summer months are full of travel and fun, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still want things at home to be safe and secure while we’re off enjoying life. According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs on average every 20 seconds in the U.S.1, and there is an increase in the summer months, due in part to families heading out on vacation while the kids are out of school. It’s kind of a scary thought but we can’t just stay home all of the time because of the “what ifs”. In years past, vacationers simply stopped the mail and arranged for someone to pick up the newspapers and mow the lawn to give the appearance of being home. Now there is a host of additional ways to remotely protect your home with the latest connected devices that can be accessed anytime, anywhere via a smartphone such as the iPhone 7 and a fast, high quality nationwide network like U.S. Cellular. Fortunately, the latest connected home devices can provide vacationers with remote access to monitor and manage a variety of functions to help keep their homes secure, no matter where their travels lead.
Connected Home Safety Devices
There are several devices, ranging in price from less than $20 to around $200 that can go a long way toward ensuring a more relaxing vacation. Some of my favorite apps that help give me and other homeowners peace of mind are:
- With Nest Cam Indoor, homeowners never have to worry about what is going on back home again. Nest Cam allows vacationers to look after the house, 24/7, with live video and a 160-degree wide-angle view, all from a smartphone. It even provides phone alerts if motion or sound are detected, so homeowners instantly know if anything is amiss.
- Nest Protect: While no one wants to deal with a fire or other issue when away from home, fast response time can greatly impact the outcome and help minimize damage, and that’s where Nest Protect comes in. Just knowing that Nest Protect can send instant phone alerts for smoke and carbon-monoxide, while also calling attention to a low battery or sensor failure, can make it easier to relax and enjoy the time away.
- Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener is another great option for anyone who has ever been hundreds of miles into a trip and is suddenly worried whether the garage door was left open. MyQ Garage Door Opener will send an alert if a door is open at any point while the homeowner is away, even allowing the user to remotely close it via a Samsung Galaxy S7 or other tablet.
- Incipio Commandkit™ Wireless Smart Lightbulb Adapter with Dimming: The name is a bit of a mouthful, but this solution is pretty straightforward. With this smart technology, there are no more worries about forgetting to switch off the lights or fumbling with multiple timers to control the lights to give the impression someone’s home. Users can simply use the app to toggle specific lights or an entire home with integrated Siri voice commands for effortless accessibility.
- Ring™ Video Doorbell is a handy device that enables homeowners to respond to someone at the door, even when they’re not home. With Ring Video Doorbell, homeowners can see, hear and speak to anyone who stops by the house, and always know when a package arrives.
Almost one third of smartphone owners recently surveyed by U.S. Cellular said they use their device to control their home security system, lighting or other smart home technology at least once a day. Almost half note they use this technology once a month or more2. I think that’s a pretty significant number, but I also think there are many more that can truly benefit from this technology. With busier lives sometimes neighborhood watch just doesn’t cut it anymore. Not sure where to start? U.S. Cellular can assist in finding the right mobile device for you and your families needs.
1 FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2015 reports 1.58 million burglaries for the year, for an average of one every 20 seconds.
2 Between Nov. 10-17, 2016, a total of 701 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.