By Maximillian Hartounian

Maxx is a tech enthusiast that has turned his passion for gaming into road-testing the latest and newest technology of consumer products.

In todays world, technology and teenagers go hand-in-hand.  Every year more technology is being introduced to make a house “smart” and a teenager’s life “connected”.  I’ve road-tested some of the newest tech products that can help parents feel more tech savvy and your home a little more intelligent.

NEST Thermostat


Replacing your current thermostat can save you money.  This model is  easy to install (about 15 minutes) and it allows you to program your home to a temperature using an app on your phone from anywhere in the world. Once you download the app, you are in control of the internal home temperature, the heating and cooling fans and have access to the history of the usage of the system.

This is ideal for families who travel or have busy work and school schedules during the day. The smart memory works by using  sensors that over time  recognize  patterns of the temperature  in the house. By cutting fan speeds, in the long run you will be saving energy and money on heating and cooling bills. The best part is that in the heat of summer or cold of winter, you can have your home waiting for you with the temperature you prefer.

Amazon ECHO Dot 


This is a small voice-controlled device that is activated by your own voice.  It works by using Amazon’s Alexa to play music, answer questions and control smart home devices. The built-in speaker is loud enough to serve as an alarm clock to wake a teenager and it can “hear” you in noisy environments.  It is small in size and can be placed on a flat surface in any room. For busy families, this is just one extra “helper” in the house that can control day to day operations to save time.

Mighty Mug


Have you ever spilled coffee on your laptop while you were at home working? If you have, you’ll enjoy the Might Mug.

An entrepreneur invented this “impossible to spill” coffee mug. It works with a smart-technology grip that allows the mug to only be lifted vertically.   When the mug is placed on a surface, it creates a suction between the mug itself and the surface allowing it only to be picked up. It can not be moved side to side.

All Recipes Sensor Pans


Teenagers aren’t usually expert cooks. While watching The Food Network may give us a little extra help when Mom or Dad isn’t around, its great to use accessories and kitchen tools that make cooking easier.

This frying pan has a heat-sensitive indicator that changes from black to red. The color change signals that the pan is preheated to 250°F—the ideal temperature for searing, frying and sautéing.  While younger siblings should never use the stove without adult supervision, teenagers should learn and know how to cook for themselves and for the family.

Invigorate Car Essential Oil Infuser


Plugging in and staying connected to your smartphone is important for conversation, safety and constant contact with family. On the ride to school, teens usually power up to make sure their cell phone has a full charge. This charger has a dual purpose. It charges your phone and also serves as an air freshener for the car.

Once plugged into the 12VDC power socket, a second piece serves as an infuser for essential oils to make the car smell good. You can only use one function at a time but leaving it in the car brings a fresh scent in a car  that may be sitting in a parking lot all day.  After school the ride home smell of fresh lavender or eucalyptus captures relaxing moments before you start your homework.