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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Automate Your Morning Routine with These Smart Gadgets

A person kicks back and drinks their morning coffee.
Cookie Studio/Shutterstock

A bad morning can ruin an otherwise perfect day. So why make your mornings hard? Automate your morning routine, from waking up to going to work, with these handy smart gadgets.

How Can Smart Devices Streamline My Morning?

A smarthome can’t cook your breakfast or brush your teeth (this isn’t the Jetsons), but it can streamline your morning by making everything just a little bit easier.

Think of the time you spend doing small things every morning. Maybe you fight the alarm, start the electric kettle, adjust the thermostat, and wonder how long it’ll take to drive to work. That’s where smarthome devices come in handy.

Most of this can be done with routines—schedules that you create through Google Assistant or Alexa. These routines can run automatically, or they can begin every morning when you say “good morning” or “morning routine.” You can even tell your smart assistant before you leave for work, and it’ll adjust your home to your liking (so you don’t have to).

Streamline Coffee, Tea, and Breakfast

The June smart toaster oven and the Smarter iKettle

There’s no reason to spend your whole morning making coffee, tea, or breakfast. A few smarthome gadgets can do most of the work before you get out of bed—you just need to add them to your smarthome routine.

Here are some time-saving smart appliances for your kitchen:

  • The June Toaster Oven: The June toaster oven is an odd little invention. It can be controlled via an app, and it has warming presets for a variety of foods (chicken thighs, leftover pizza, etc). You can also schedule the oven to preheat through Alexa, although it doesn’t work with Google Assistant or IFTTT.
  • GE Connected Ovens: GE’s line of connected ovens work with Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. The best part of these ovens is that they can be preheated remotely, or preheated as part of a routine. That way, your oven will be ready for cooking when you wake up in the morning. It’s an easy way to start breakfast, and it’s healthier than fried food.
  • Smarter iKettle: The Smarter iKettle is a Wi-Fi connected kettle. It can be controlled via the Smarter (iOS/Android) app, and you can even program boiling schedules with specific temperatures. If you’d like, you can take things a step further by integrating the iKettle into your Google Assistant, Alexa, or IFTTT environment.
  • Upgrade Your Coffee Maker: Most of the smart coffee makers sold in stores are unreliable or discontinued. So, we suggest using a smart plug with a basic one-button coffee maker instead. (Just leave the coffee maker “on” all the time and control its power with the smart plug.) That way, you can set a schedule for your coffee maker, integrate it with routines, or control it with your voice. (Or you could just use a basic programmable coffee maker.)

Wake Up Without an Alarm

The Nest smart thermostat and the Philips Hue white bulb

Waking up is the most important part of any morning routine, so why not make it a bit easier? Smart bulbs and thermostats are popular, reliable, and great for easing into your morning.

Here are some smarthome gadgets to help you start your day on the right foot:

  • Wake Up to Light, Not Alarms: Some smart bulbs, like Philips Hue and LIFX bulbs, can be programmed to gradually brighten in the morning, slowly nudging you awake without harsh alarms. You could even go a step further with the Philips Wake-Up Light, which mimics the color and feel of the sunrise.
  • Automate Your Temperature: A smart thermostat can automatically lower the temperature at night and raise it in the morning. We suggest using a Nest thermostat with Google Assistant or ecobee thermostat with Alexa. Or, you can save some money and buy a Honeywell smart thermostat. (It’s not as intuitive as Nest or ecobee, but it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.)

Wake Up to the News, the Radio, Music, or YouTube

The Echo Show 5 and the Google Home

Smart assistants are a necessity for controlling your smarthome, but they’re also useful on their own. A smart assistant can read you the news and weather in the morning, or even tell you how long it will take to get to work that day. (You can automate all of this by creating a “morning routine” in your smart assistant’s app. Heck, you could even make an “I’m going to work” routine, if you really want.)

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