How smart tech will revolutionise your home

Ned Browne

In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone. Since then, smartphones have become ubiquitous, with over 1.5 billion now sold annually. Are we on the cusp of a similar smart home revolution?

Technology companies the world over have bet big on the “Internet of things"—whereby numerous household gadgets would be connected to the Internet. This is not pie in the sky fantasy; the technology already exists. Here's how the technology could shape every room of your home…

 

Smart lounge

Woman speaking to Alexa in her smart home

It’s reckoned that 100 million smart speakers have been sold worldwide. Leading the way are Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. These devices are like Siri for your home; you can ask them questions. You can also dictate your shopping or “to do” list. Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Home offer similar functionality.

In the living room, smart speakers may well become an essential feature—the latest generation can connect to numerous devices, such as lights and even your front door. Talking of which, Amazon’s new Prime service in the US will let verified delivery persons carry goods right into your home. The goods you ordered via Alexa.

Lost your TV remote control? That’s no longer a problem. Some of Samsung’s smart televisions can be operated without pressing a button: turn it on or off, change channels, access apps, and navigate the web on your TV using your voice. Let’s hope you don’t lose your voice.

 

Smart kitchen

using a smart phone to control a smart home

In the US, Amazon is now selling an own-brand smart microwave oven. It’s priced keenly at just $59.99 and will come with voice-activated pre-sets, so you can tell the microwave how you’d like to cook something and for how long.

Samsung’s smart oven allows remote monitoring and control via your smartphone. The iKettle offers similar features; it’s on its third generation already.

Washing machines have become smart too. Set it to start whilst you’re at work, and arrive home to freshly laundered clothes. Other noisy devices such as dishwashers and tumble dryers can also be activated by voice or your smartphone—only run them when you’re out.

Smart refrigerators will help reduce waste by letting you know when items in your fridge are about to go off and offer up several recipes for them to boot. LG’s smart fridge will even send cooking instructions to your smart oven.

Honeywell is now selling a voice-controlled smart thermostat. Tell it to turn the heating on, off, down or up. Or tell it when you’d like the heating to come on or off.

 

Smart bathrooms

screen controlling smart bathroom in a smart home

Bathrooms are becoming smart too. Imagine voice controlling the following from your bathtub: the taps, the lights and the television (or music).

Connected bath thermostats will ensure the perfect temperature and the bathroom mirror will demist at your command.

 

Smart cleaning

Vacuum cleaning could become a thing of the past too.

Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for years. But they’re now voice controlled. Samsung’s Powerbot is one such device.