The home is getting smarter. You’ve probably seen the adverts by now – smart speakers like the Amazon Echo & Google Home are growing increasingly popular. Despite seeming like a novelty, the idea of the smart home is gaining traction. There are an increasing number of devices that can be connected through Wi-Fi in your home to provide greater efficiency, entertainment, and safety for you and your family. Here’s our pick of 5 top smart home devices to help you keep up as we’re catapulted into a sci-fi future.
The Amazon Echo is a tall cylinder smart speaker housing Amazon’s ‘Alexa’, the intelligent personal assistant who can be interacted with by voice, allowing you to tell it to play music, make to do lists, provide weather information and much, much more. It’s also got the ability to link to your other smart devices in the home, allowing you to voice control various aspects of your home by simply speaking to Alexa. If you really want all your devices to link together seamlessly and more efficiently, you’ll need a hub to connect them to, and the Amazon Echo does not disappoint.
Internet-connected thermostats don’t come any better than Nest. The days of using a small rectangular box to control all of your heating are over. By simply using Nest for a week, it programs itself to learn your lifestyle & schedule, so it knows when to turn on and off, as well as how you like the temperature. All of this whilst saving you money on your energy bills. Impressive, right? It goes a step further with its smart usability though. Temperature and hot water can be controlled directly from your smartphone or tablet, or even using the Amazon Echo to ask Alexa to turn the heating down for you. We can’t wait to blame Alexa for the lack of hot water.
Security in the home has always been important, but Nest’s indoor and outdoor camera systems have made it easier than ever before to monitor your home whilst you’re away. You can simply open the app and check your cameras in real-time, as well as talk through the camera. Your cameras can send you a phone alert when it believes someone is there, so you can check the feed and yell at them and get them to flee. There are huge advantages to using this in everyday life too – are you out but expecting a parcel? Simply tell the postman through the camera to leave the parcel where you need it.
The Hue is the world’s most connected light system. Installing these light bulbs means that you can wirelessly control lights in your home with huge customisation in colour and ambiance. (Over 16 million colours!). The lighting can be easily controlled via your smartphone or through a hub like the Amazon Echo. No more having to get up to turn off the light before bed!
Samsung has created a kit of ‘smart things’ that help teach your home to fit in and improve your daily life. Its key stand out feature for us is the smart plug point, which allows you to control a plug from your phone or smart hub. Want to start brewing your coffee as you wake up in the morning? This is perfect for automating your electronics and small appliances, bringing them into the smart technology fold.