We are under constant bombardment with new smart things it seems, many of which I am not so sure about. Take even what many think is worthwhile, a smart light switch. Now if your use for a smart light switch is to make it seem that you are home when you are not, in an effort to thwart off a would be burglar, that is smart. Other than that, it seems to me that if you want a light on, you turn it on with the flip of a switch much faster than getting out your phone and opening the app and doing so.
I am also not sure why we need a smart refrigerator to show us what is in the fridge, is that not why there is a door and light in the refrigerator?
Now onto some actual useful smart items:
Starting with my Google Home Hub, this useful small item which circumvents your need to have your phone married to you constantly has proven to be a very useful device. I use it in the kitchen to set a timer or multiple timers, alarms or multiple alarms, the ability to cancel said timers or alarms just by asking. I have written before how this hub allows me to say OK Google: play Paul Simon on Sony1080 and within a matter of seconds Pandora is playing on my main system which feeds Zone 2 speakers all over my home, inside and out. Cancel as easy as starting.
Have you ever left your garage door open? For me leaving my garage door open is not good as it is where I keep a good deal of products. Chamberlain sells a smart garage door operator which automatically shuts the door after 10 minutes or if you are walking in and out of the door breaking the safety beam it will stay open. This is also handy if I have a delivery and am not there I can open and close the door from my phone, and get feedback that is indeed open or closed.
Orbit sells a fantastic lawn sprinkler system which I have found to very useful. First programing a timer can be very challenging on a standard flip and push style timer. One very impressive and useful function of a smart phone is the way applications let you use strong visual and qwerty and 10 key punch in of programing content. This is far and away faster and better due to the strong feedback and confirmation you can see while programing. This device also will automatically delay watering when it is raining, and for those of us who do their own sprinkler repair, you know how often you would like to turn on the sprinkler to flush lines while doing repairs, all of this is very easy with the Orbit b-hyve smart controller.
It was only a year or two ago that these new items became available. It is smarter to discover the operations of these devices now than later, it keeps us thinking and that is good!