Turner-Schneider Residence Complex

The Turner-Schneider Residence Complex

From lights and outlets to speakers and TVs, every bit of consumer tech has been getting the “smart” treatment. Smart homes have been appearing all over social media with new types of gadgets around every corner to turn off lights and play music.

College students living in residence halls may feel left out of all the fun. After all, it may be a few years until they get their own house or apartment to transform into a dream home. However, plenty of smart devices are small and versatile enough to fit into any space, including residence halls.

If you’re looking for ways to impress people from every room on your floor, here’s a few suggestions for smart tech that can fit in your small space.

Start with a smart speaker.

Smart speakers are the foundation of the modern smart home. They not only play music, but also take voice commands, connect with your mobile devices and add a convenient hands-free experience to your daily routine.

Amazon Echo ($99.99 on amazon.com) – Since Amazon doesn’t currently produce its own smartphones, Echo works great with both iPhone and Android devices. Alexa can enable features from social media sites, news networks and more.

Google Home  ($129.00 on google.com) – Google Assistant is known to be the smartest virtual assistant, with plenty of artificial intelligence features that delicately tread the line between creepy and convenient.

Sonos One ($199.00 on amazon.com) – This smart speaker combines the features and intelligence of Alexa with the exceptional sound quality Sonos is known for.

Apple HomePod ($349.00 on apple.com) – While the other smart speakers are all compatible with iPhone, the HomePod is the clear winner for those using Apple products. It’s also fully compatible with Apple Music.

Brighten things up with smart lights.

If you want to “wow” your friends when they walk into your room for the first time, try setting up smart lights all over the place, complete with fancy colors that light up when you press a button on your phone.

Phillips Hue Starter Kit, White ($69.94 on amazon.com) – Phillips Hue is a system of versatile, adaptable smart lights that will add a bit of flair to any space. With the option to add colored bulbs and light strips, you can control the lights and colors to your liking with your smartphone or tablet.

TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb ($16.99 on amazon.com) – An affordable alternative to Phillips Hue lights, this starter bulb is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and has apps for iOS and Android. It’s also available in colored variants.

Etekcity Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($19.98 on amazon.com) – If you like the lights you already have, control them from your phone with a smart plug. This one is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and If This Then That (IFTTT), an app available on iOS and Android.

Guard your stuff with a security camera.

Sure, you liked your roommate when you first met them on move in day, but will you still trust them in May? Curb any fears of your gadgets (and expensive textbooks) being stolen with a smart security camera.

EZVIZ Mini O Security Camera ($59.99 on amazon.com) – This Wi-Fi enabled security system is compatible with Alexa and IFTTT and comes complete with motion-activated notifications, alarms and cloud storage.

Arlo Q ($147.85 on amazon.com) – This security camera is also compatible with Alexa but features a more affordable cloud storage subscription service.

Multimedia Director

Parton has been with The News Record since January 2018. He oversees TNR's digital presence and often covers campus development as well as technology. Past internships: Cincinnati Business Courier, Cincinnati Magazine.