Consumer Reports reviews the state of the art in several categories in the June issue
1. Burglar alarm. Major providers offer multi-device systems that you can monitor from afar.
2. Generator. Lets you know whether the generator is working and can e-mail or text you and a service technician if there’s a problem.
3. Thermostat. Senses patterns in human presence and controls equipment accordingly.
4. Lighting. Lets you control lights from an app and set vacation schedules.
5. Smoke/CO detector. Can notify you and prompt the same-brand thermostat to shut off fuel-burning appliances.
6. Refrigerator. Alerts you if power is out and even if a door is left ajar.
7. Range. Lets you preheat the oven, set the timer, and check cooking status without being in the room.
8. Electronic door locks. Let you remotely lock or unlock and change who’s authorized to enter.
9. Water alarm or shutoff. Can text you when water is spilling from a pipe or an appliance; shutoffs can cut off your water main to minimize flooding.
10. Washer and dryer. Lets you start cycles and monitor progress, and alerts you if your dryer duct is clogged.