Imagine waking up in a fully automated home. The light on your nightstand gradually begins to brighten, your blinds unfold to welcome the morning light, coffee brews in the kitchen and music begins to play, all without you lifting a finger.
Until recently, even partially automated homes were exclusive to the domains of engineers and home owners wealthy enough to hire them (or creative students with some extra time on their hands). But now those systems are becoming more affordable and easier to manage, thanks in part to Kickstarter-fueled interest in "The Internet of Things," as well as integrations with SMS, smartphones and web-based applications like Twitter and Dropbox.
We rounded up five objects to help smarten up your home. We've focused primarily on affordable, tested devices already available on the market, but also included a few high-ticket and soon-to-be-released products to ignite your imagination. If you're interested in more DIY, check out Lifehacker's roundup.