The Best Smart Home Devices to Help With Self-Isolating and Social Distancing

April 24, 2020
Chris L. | Author
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As the nation adheres to government guidelines, spending the majority of time at home to support the fight against COVID-19, smart home devices have never been more important.

Practising social distancing and finding a comfortable rhythm for self-isolation is new to everyone and it can take some time to get used to. This is where smart devices can play a huge and extremely helpful role.

We know people are looking to create helpful routines, find new ways to entertain themselves whilst indoors and practice self-isolation as well as they can. Luckily, smart devices can help with all these things, making your life easier and more enjoyable when it’s most needed.

We’ve done a roundup of the best smart home devices for self-isolating and social distancing, take a look below.

Stay at home, answer the door from your phone

Social distancing is a completely new concept; coming in contact with people – whether that be to receive a food delivery or package – seems almost unavoidable. But doorbell cameras are the perfect smart home tech to overcome this challenge.

A smart doorbell allows you to see, hear and speak to visitors when they arrive at your door without having to come face-to-face. When someone rings your doorbell you’ll receive a notification on your smart system, smartphone, tablet or PC and be able to have a two-way conversation.

Here a few video doorbells to get you started:

  • Ring Door View Cam - This sleek silver doorbell, the Ring Door View Cam, not only works when someone rings it, but also has motion sensors for when people knock on your door. So, you’ll never miss an important delivery. It’s compatible with an Amazon Alexa.

  • Ring Video Doorbell 3 - If you’re looking for the next level up, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 (now replacing the Ring Video Doorbell 2) is ideal. This design has a crystal-clear 1080HD, wide-angle video and allows you to monitor your home from anywhere with instant mobile alerts. It can be hardwired or battery-powered and comes with a rechargeable battery pack so you needn’t worry about it losing power. It’s iOS, Android, Mac and Windows 10 compatible.

  • Nest Hello Video Doorbell - Another great option is the Nest Hello Video Doorbell. This futuristic-looking video doorbell has night vision, a 160° field of view and 24/7 HD streaming. It also has quick responses for when you can’t speak; for instance you may be catching up with a friend on the phone and need to alert the postman to leave the package on your doorstep.

Not only do they serve to be useful during these extraordinary times, but they’re also a great security measure to have for the future Find out more about the benefits of doorbell cameras in our complete guide.

Find support and entertainment with a smart speaker

Looking after your wellbeing is essential whilst self-isolating and social distancing; making sure you’re creating a thoughtful routine and incorporating fun activities is a great way to stay positive.

With a smart speaker you can control your smart devices with help from your smart assistant. If you’ve made a routine on your smart assistant, your speaker can give you helpful reminders of when your next task is ready, assisting you with managing your daily schedule.

The best thing about owning a smart speaker? You get to listen to your favourite music! You may be sitting in the living room and decide it’s time for a (dance) break from work. Or, you could surprise your family member in another room to cheer them up – especially if you’re practicing social distancing measures within your household.

Some great smart speakers include:

  • Amazon Echo Dot - Hands-free and voice-controlled, the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) smart speaker uses the Alexa Voice Service and can play music, provide information, read the news, set alarms and control smart home devices, all just using your voice. It can be your kitchen assistant, your personal alarm clock and can hear you from a great range.

  • Google Nest Mini - Small but mighty, the Google Nest Mini Chalk is an extremely stylish and minimal smart speaker, with improved voice recognition and a rich sound. The top of the speaker is made from 100% recycled bottles, making it a more environmentally conscious choice.

  • Apple HomePod - Apple HomePod is a powerful speaker with a specifically engineered deep bass – great for those songs that call to be turned up! With built in Apple Music, it has a great range of songs to show off this sound, all controlled through natural voice interaction with Siri. It’s a real helping hand in the house.

Smart displays to keep you busy

Keeping busy and entertained whilst isolating is a challenge, and having your very own entertainment hub with a smart display is one inventive way to combat those days that feel slightly longer.

Similar to a smart speaker, a smart display can give you reminders, play music, news, podcasts and audiobooks, however it can also allow you to watch YouTube videos.

It’s a good idea to use this time to try things you’ve always wanted to do; YouTube has an incredible range of videos to keep you occupied, from fun and exotic cooking tutorials to upbeat dance routines and relaxing yoga classes.

One of the best things about a smart display? You can ask it to pause using voice recognition – so if you’ve burst the flour bag and your scones tutorial is getting ahead of you whilst you clean it up, you can stop the video without coating buttons in flour.

Sound like a good way to have fun? Check out a few of our top picks below:

  • Google Nest Hub - The Google Nest Hub is a popular choice when it comes to smart displays for the home. In-keeping with Google’s clean look, the Google Nest Hub fits naturally in any room at home. It even adjusts to match the colours and lighting in its environment using Ambient EQ, so your photos on Google Nest Hub will seamlessly blend in with your home decor.

  • Amazon Echo Show 5 - Ready to show you more, the Amazon Echo Show 5 offers vivid visuals on a 5.5" screen with a crisp and full sound. If you’re one for karaoke you need to check out this smart display, as it has an on-screen lyrics function with Amazon Music.

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