For decades sci-fi has been promising a future of smart homes that do everything for us, and in the last couple of years that future has been slowly developed. Now it’s possible to turn your whole home smart, making things happen automatically. With these smart gadgets, your life will be a little bit easier.
Coming home to freshly-hoovered floors has been possible for a while now thanks to a rise in robot vacuum cleaners. But Dyson’s first automatic cleaner is a cut above the rest. Not only does it pack all the powerful cleaning tech you’d expect from Dyson, it also has a companion app that lets you schedule and control cleaning from anywhere. That means if you invite friends round while you’re at work, you can call for an emergency hoovering.
Dyson will be releasing its little helper soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
One of the first bits of smart home tech to really take off was Nest, a thermostat that learns your habits to heat your home incredibly efficiently. There’s still no smart thermostat quite as good as Nest is at predicting when you want your heating on and off, and that means it’s also the best for saving you money on your bills.
Smart tellies are coming out the woodwork these days from a range of top manufactuerers, like Samsung, LG and Philips. They allow you to access the internet through your TV, providing you access to services like Spotify and Netflix, as well as on demands services like BBC iPlayer and All 4. Check out the video above from LG to give you more of an idea.
As well as the thermostat, Nest also makes a smart smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarm called Protect. Now, we know what you’re thinking – how smart can a fire alarm be? Well, this one can diagnose itself so you always know it’s working properly, can be silenced from your phone (so you don’t need to wave a tea-towel at it every time you burn your toast) and even talks to you to give you early warnings (so your toast doesn’t get completely burnt in the first place).
Belkin wants to make anything that plugs into the wall smart with its WeMo Insight Switch. It’s a smart socket adapter that connects to Wi-Fi so you can turn your electronics off and on from your phone. But it also sends you information on how much energy each of your devices is using, giving you more motivation to cut the power to unused electronics.
Hue is another smart gadget that’s been around a while without being bettered. It’s a system of smart LED light bulbs that lets you create any colour and even fun light shows to go with your favourite music. And because it’s been around a while, Hue works with other smart gadget too. For example, if you’ve got a Nest Protect (featured above), your Philips Hue will flash red when the alarm goes off.
You might still have to load and unload this washing machine, but it does take some of the hassle out of doing the laundry. Load it up in the morning and you can turn it on from anywhere via the app so you’re washing’s fresh when you get home. Plus, it automatically weighs each load you do so it uses the minimum amount of energy and water to save you money.
Once you’ve got your home connected with ten or more gadgets like those above, you’ll want something to control them all. SmartThings is a great value home hub that lets you do just that. From one app you can control your lights, open and close doors, change the temperature – almost anything. It’s the final piece in the smart home jigsaw. If you want to find out more about how to get involved with the Samsung SmartThings, check out on a sister company's site, Currys PC World.
What smart gadgets do you use? Tell us about your favourites in the comments below.