The definitive guide of 11 tech gadgets every renter and apartment dweller needs in their life

Renting an apartment has its challenges, but luckily, technology is here to ease the pain. With amazing inventions like Bluetooth-activated keyless entry from your smartphone, furniture that charges your devices wirelessly and apps that let you adjust your thermostat from work (because you forgot to turn the heat down when you left the house in a rush this morning), you’ll be living the good life in your Toronto apartment.

Here’s our list of 11 gadgets you’ll definitely want in your rental in 2016:

  1. Smart sound
    Sonos speakers are wireless smart speakers that allow you to control your music with an app on your phone. You can also stream more than 100,000 radio stations and connect them to your TV. They come in various sizes and have different features to fit your sound needs.
  2. Wireless charging
    Wireless charging stations are super convenient and offer a more chic look to your home than having piles of tangled wires everywhere. Ikea now offers wireless charging stations built into their furniture. So cool.
  3. Smart Wi-Fi
    The OnHub is a new router for Wi-Fi in your home. Forget the wires, cables, flashing lights and never knowing why your router isn’t working. This router is accompanied by an app that tells you how to set up your Wi-Fi, explains why it isn’t working and how to fix it with no tech support, tells you your consumption, and allows you to prioritize certain devices in your home.
  4. Save water
    When utilities aren’t included in your rent, it’s worthwhile to keep your energy consumption to a minimum (it’s also eco-friendly, of course). Check out Moen’s shower head options to decrease your water consumption by at least 30%.
  5. Keyless entry
    The Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock is an amazing invention. It lets you unlock your door using Bluetooth “E Keys,” so you’ll never have to worry about locking yourself out again. Even if your phone dies, it uses keys IRL, too. It even gives you guest E Keys that you can give to friends to let themselves in, and custom parameters can be set so the same friends don’t overstay their welcome.
  6. Smart heat
    The Sinope smart thermostat lets you adjust your household temperatures from your smart phone. If you forget to turn down the heat after you leave the house, you can do it from your phone and reduce your energy consumption and heating bill.
  7. Smart shopping
    The Amazon dash buttons are incredibly useful for any household. They are particularly useful for household items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. The buttons are linked to your Amazon account. Just press the button and the product is ordered and delivered to your home.
  8. Humidifier
    With central heating being used at least seven months of the year here in TO, a humidifier is a basic necessity. The one from Urban Outfitters is cute, small and attaches to USB ports.
  9. Smart lighting
    The Phillips hue bulb offers a variety of different shades to adjust to your mood and preferred ambiance. With the Phillips app you can control your lighting from your phone. It screws into any regular socket and provides 25,000 hours of light.
  10. Smart entertainment
    Chromecast is like Google’s answer to AppleTV, but better. It’s a device that has an accompanying app and is a must for streaming movies, TV shows, music and sports from the internet to your TV like Apple’s product, but it also integrates with your phone, speakers and more..
  11. Plants
    Grow your own herbs indoors with the Smart Herb Starter Kit by Click and Grow. Fill the basin with water, plug the device in, and wait. Then you can impress guests with your fresh-tasting cooking.
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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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