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The Amazing List: 75 Smart Home Tech Solutions

DO NOT USE Logo By Stephen Treffinger of DO NOT USE | Slide 1 of 73: In the connected home, every thing communicates via a radio language: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, or proprietary ones developed by manufacturers. It's a virtual tower of Babel — they can't all understand each other. Enter the latest, and most important, piece of the puzzle: the hub, a device designed to translate the various languages. In addition to letting you control everything with one master app, a hub also enables things to operate in concert. Nest and Apple are currently developing technology that may supersede the need for such devices, but at the moment, here are the four most robust hubs on the market, and the smart product languages they understand.SmartThingsBluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kit, $199. smartthings.comIris Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kits, $179. lowes.comStaples Connect Bluetooth, Lutron ClearConnect, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kit, $90. staples.comWink Bluetooth, Lutron ClearConnect, Kidde, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Hub, $50. homedepot.com

1. Hubs: Command Central

In the connected home, every thing communicates via a radio language: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, or proprietary ones developed by manufacturers. It's a virtual tower of Babel — they can't all understand each other. Enter the latest, and most important, piece of the puzzle: the hub, a device designed to translate the various languages. In addition to letting you control everything with one master app, a hub also enables things to operate in concert. Nest and Apple are currently developing technology that may supersede the need for such devices, but at the moment, here are the four most robust hubs on the market, and the smart product languages they understand.

SmartThingsBluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kit, $199. smartthings.com

Iris Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kits, $179. lowes.com

Staples Connect Bluetooth, Lutron ClearConnect, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Starter Kit, $90. staples.com

Wink Bluetooth, Lutron ClearConnect, Kidde, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave. Hub, $50. homedepot.com

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