Turn your home into a smart home with these 5 must-have gadgets
Due to innovative appliances, houses of today are already looking more like tomorrow’s smart home of our dreams. If you want to deck out your dwelling in time-saving, energy-efficient, futuristic appliances and start living like a member of the 21st century tech elite, then these gadgets are for you. Below are the 5 most interesting appliances available today which are guaranteed to transform your house into a smart home of the future.
1. Philips’ Hue
On/off just doesn’t cut it for lighting in the house of tomorrow. Bathe your living environment in uniquely sculptured light scenes with Philips’ Hue. Using intuitive technology that seamlessly integrates within your current environment and routine, Hue promises to transform your everyday relationship with light.
Wirelessly create a range of ambiences within your space. Choose colour, tone intensity, create light recipes – and that’s just for starters. You can control Hue via your mobile device, for added ease, and the technology also acts as a hands free notification device, illuminating when you receive a message, notification or an email. You can even sync the lights to your favourite song for a mid-afternoon dance party. However, Hue is more than just a novelty. Hue will gently enhance your well-being, sleep, concentration and relaxation levels – all through the natural properties of light. Programme and save your favourite scenes for the day and allow Hue to gently take you from dawn to dusk.
The starter set with remote, wifi connecting device and three lights is priced at around £170.
2. BuddyGuard’s Flare
Flare is the next big thing for home security. Behind the sleek, state of the art design is a HD camera and hi-tech sensors that provide continuous coverage when you are not at home.
Flare is able to distinguish between known and unknown faces and even pets can be recognized. Thanks to its cleverly programmed AI, Flare can make autonomous decisions in case of an attempted burglary. The intelligent security system decides which actions to take – to raise the alarm, inform you via your mobile or to call the police.
Despite this vigilance, Flare also guarantees privacy for you and your family. When a recognised face enters the room, Flare physically closes the shutter in front of its camera.
Herbert Hellemann, CEO of BuddyGuard, highlights the advantages of Flare: “At the moment, there are no real competitors with a comparable product. The well known providers from the US concentrate on webcam-based solutions, we are the only company offering a holistic approach to home security.”
Flare is now available on IndieGoGo for £265.
3. 1aim’s SmartDoor
SmartDoor, a collaboration between tech venture 1aim and door manufacturer Schörghuber, brings a whole new world of meaning to the phrase “Open Sesame!” This technologically advanced door opens automatically when the owner approaches the entrance area with their Bluetooth-activated, authenticated smartphone.
But that’s not all that’s on offer. Through the use of a camera and an intercom, SmartDoor transmits video and audio onto the owner’s smartphone. Friend left something behind while you’re having a drink at the bar? Chat with them over the app and even better, the SmartDoor can be opened for them with a swipe. Regular authentications can also be set up for trusted loved ones to use a pin code.
The number one advantage of SmartDoor is of course that the rummage for keys is finally over. Lars Hinrichs, founder of the career network Xing and owner of the newly built Smart Home Apartimentum, agrees: “Anyone who has used a smart door once in their life won’t want to go back to keys.”
Price to be confirmed.
4. Tesla’s Powerwall
Many homeowners already have a solar power system installed on their roofs and are feeding the surplus electricity back into the local grid. In tomorrow’s home, the idea is that an energy storage device will save the produced energy for personal use when the sun has set. This will enable the user to become more independent from the grid, increasing the productivity of the photovoltaic system installed. Tesla, the company famous for its electric cars and eccentric genius founder Elon Musk, is the first to invent such a revolutionary storage solution.
The Tesla Powerwall, a lithium ion battery, has a capacity of 7-10 kWh, depending on the model, approximately the average energy consumption of a 2 person household in one day. The saved energy can be consumed or fed back into the local grid, earning a small profit for the owners.
What’s more, the system has a data connection, meaning it can be linked to your other smart home devices. The Tesla Powerwall will cost at least £2,300 and can already be pre-ordered.
5. Samsung’s Family Hub
The smart fridge is a must-have smart home appliance for busy individuals. With Samsung’s Family Hub, the wait for the fridge of tomorrow is finally over.
Family Hub takes a picture each time you close your fridge door, making it available on your smartphone via cloud technology. This means that lost grocery lists and stressful food shopping will soon become a thing of the past. It also comes with a 21.5 inch touchscreen, which lets you order food online, leave notes for family members, watch videos, listen to music and, most relevantly, look up and follow recipes.
For now, the Family Hub is only available in the US for approximately $5,800.