It’s incredibly hard to find a gift at Christmas that is useful and unique. There are loads of gimmicks and much of it won't be used beyond Boxing Day.
If you’re stuck and want to find something that will really bring a smile this year, how about a smart home product? Not sure what the smart home is or how it should look? Watch our video below then check out the gifts we recommend.
Amazon Echo Show
£199.99, BT Shop
No smart home is complete without a smart speaker – and Amazon has taken it to the next level with the Echo Show.
As with existing Amazon Echo speakers, you can ask virtual assistant Alexa for everything from music and news alerts to an overview of what’s on your calendar. As one of the leading smart home speakers, Alexa will connect with many existing smart devices such as lighting (and many of the other products we’ve recommended below) so that you can simply say, ‘Alexa, turn off the living room light’ and it'll be done.
With the Echo Show, Amazon has moved beyond voice to pictures allowing you to see alerts, watch videos and more on the integrated screen. You can call other Echo Show users and enjoy a video chat all through your internet connection.
Revive Bedside Table
£199, Bensons for Beds
A number of smartphones now come with wireless charging, and while wireless charging is convenient, cables and charging plates only add to the clutter.
Bensons for Beds has come up with an innovative idea that tucks the widely-supported QI charging device neatly underneath the top of the table.
The charging mat can charge one device at a time and if your smartphone doesn’t support wireless charging, the Revive Bedside Table comes with a micro USB and Lightning Connector charging card so you can enjoy wired charging too.
As for good old fashioned aesthetics, the Revive Bedside Table comes in white and grey colours, and features two drawers.
WISER smart home heating
From £129.79, Amazon
Smart heating is an incredibly useful investment as it can save loads of money on energy bills by giving you control of the heating no matter where you are in the world.
Starting from £129.79, WISER's solution lets you control your home's heating from anywhere using your smartphone. WISER claims to be the easiest smart home heating solution to install for novices or seasoned DIY enthusiasts.
The app connects to the thermostat wirelessly so you can get the heating going when a sudden chill hits on your way home from work. Likewise, if you forgot to turn the heating off when you left, simply fire up the app and switch it off.
Add WISER's additional radiator thermostats and you can control the heating in each room individually as well.
Want your brew ready first thing? Now you can with the Smarter iKettle – the third generation of the kettle which you can control remotely using your smartphone or smart speaker,
The accompanying app lets you set alarms so that a kettle full of hot water can be waiting for you when you wake up or as you arrive home.
You can also set a desired boil temperature with the app too.
Fancy a coffee instead? Perhaps try the Smarter Coffee machine (£176.66).
Ikea smart lighting
From £15, Ikea
If you’re looking for something techy and affordable, some Ikea smart lighting might be a good option.
From as little as £15 you can get a dimmable light bulb and wireless dimmer which you can stick or carry anywhere.
However, you can also control the light with your smartphone or the Amazon Echo speaker if you buy the Gateway kit as well – we recommend the £65 bundle which includes the Gateway and two bulbs.