Sentri is an all-in-one home automation hub you won’t mind hanging on your wall

The market for smart home hubs — devices that give you simple unified control over all your connected gizmos — is pretty crowded. Despite their convenient features, the overwhelming majority of them are gaudy plastic boxes with bright colors and blinking lights — not exactly the type of thing you’d want to hang on your wall.

Back when they launched on Kickstarter, we were excited to somebody finally create a device that performs all the requisite smart functions you’d expect from a hub without looking like something that fell out of the trunk of a UFO.  It’s called Sentri, and not only is it one of the most capable hubs we’ve ever seen (on paper, anyway), it’s also one of the best looking, too.

Aesthetically, it looks something like a blown-up 6th-generation iPod nano (you know, the little tile-shaped one?). It’s essentially a big square with rounded edges and an LED screen up front that displays information. The box also allows you to customize the icons and information that are displayed onscreen.

It’s definitely pretty snazzy on the outside, but Sentri’s beauty isn’t skin deep either; it looks like this thing has some serious muscle under the hood, too.

In addition to Wi-Fi radios that allow it to communicate with your mobile devices, Sentri’s got a microphone, speaker, motion detector, thermometer, air quality sensor, humidity sensor, accelerometer, and even an HD camera with night vision. We’ve seen some all-in-one solutions like this before (PiperCanary, Birdi, etc.), but with so many sensors, this one can perform a ton of functions.

The addition of a security camera, for example, allows the device to function as a security system. The microphone and embedded speakers, on the other hand, mean you could potentially use Sentri as an intercom system to communicate with your family/housemates. And because it can link up with other connected home devices, such as Philips Hue lights, Nest thermostat, and Belkin WeMo switches, all the environmental sensors can be used for advanced automation functions.

Want your lights to turn on when it gets dark, not just run on a schedule? What about having the AC kick on when the room rises above a certain temperature? Assuming this thing works like it’s creators claim it will, that kind of stuff will all be possible.

The Sentri is available for preorder now for $299. If you make your order between now and Black Friday, November, 27, 2015 (the same day Sentri will start shipping units), you’ll get free shipping. 

Available at: Sentri Amazon


Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.

18 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up and plugged in while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 18 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding…
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

Google Store sale is on now through December 24!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 may be history, but fans of Google hardware including the popular Google Home Hub, Pixel 3 and 3XL mobile phones still have lots of deals in store -- the Google Store, that is.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

Porch pirate problems? Keep them away with these tips and tricks

The holiday season is fast approaching and the packages are arriving on our doorsteps. Are you worried about porch pirates stealing your gifts this holiday season? Here are some tips to help protect your purchases.

Walmart is offering Google Home starter kits for under $50

If you're hoping to save big on Google Home devices before all the holiday deals come to an end, there's no better time than right now. Walmart is slashing prices on smart home starter kits for a limited time.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Clean up with robot vac, upright vacuum, and spot and stain remover deals

Whether you're gift shopping or need to get your house ready for the holidays, deals on household cleaning appliances are always welcome. We found Walmart's best deals on robot vacs, upright vacuum cleaners, and spot and stain cleaners.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Smart Home

How to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant

Nothing say "holiday" like talking to Santa. Here's how to talk to Santa on Alexa and Google Assistant, whether he's helping you create a playlist or checking to see if you've been naughty or nice this week.