Illustration by Diego Patiño

This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of Popular Science as part of our Smart Homes feature. Click here to read more about how to make your home intelligent.

Finally, not all smart-home devices are needed–some get by because they add frills (or fun) to our lives.


Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker

A six-hour recipe and an eight-hour workday don’t mesh; thankfully, you can start, stop, or turn down this cooker from afar. $130

Jawbone UP24

Not only can this activity tracker alert your house when you come and go, but it also knows when you’re asleep. Nod off and it’ll turn off the lights. $130

Sonos PLAY:1

Sonos speakers respond to triggers from in-home sensors. If you want your stereo to play “Welcome to the Jungle” whenever you walk in the door, Sonos will. $199