From cars that drive themselves, to umbrellas that let us know when it’s about to rain and wearables that tell us if we’re healthy, we live in a world of technology with a few simple goals—to make our day to day lives easier, more efficient, and more comfortable.
And these goals form the basis of the smart home—a home in which all objects can talk to each other, predict your needs, and tailor their behaviour. The Internet of Things is helping homeowners to manage and monitor everything from lighting and central heating, to multimedia and home security—all with the push of a button, the tap of an app, or a simple “Hey!”.
Below is a rundown of what we think are among the best products shaping the smart home.
Voice control is at the top of the list when it comes to tech trends, and IoT devices are no exception. I’m sure you’ve heard of, if not already own one of Amazon’s fastest selling AI driven devices, the Amazon Echo. A bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice controlled assistant connects to the cloud to answer questions, order pizza, and tell jokes.
Voice control has come along way since the iPhone 4S’s release back in 2010, and is continuing to become more intelligent and user friendly. It’s a simple and effective way to control the smart IoT technology within your house and you only have to be within earshot to do so.
The echo can directly pair with a number of smart home devices, and has the application of “If This Then That” (IFTTT). Through the use of voice activation Alexa is able to control the majority of gadgets as well as utilities, making it the perfect central control point for your smart home.
August Smart Lock
Smart locks are something that is yet to really take off as a must have IoT device within the smart home, but I doubt it’s going to take long for people realise the multitude of applications this small piece of tech has to offer.
The days of losing your keys are over—this is a no key, no access code solution to securing your home. Simply download the app to your IOS or Android device, create an account, sync up your smart lock and you’re all set. Alongside securing your home, the device becomes much more of a smart device when considering the extra features available via its app. And it’s these features that are going to really sway consumers from their current basic tumble locks.
The app provides users with not only complete control over the lock itself, but the ability to assign guests, friends, and family members temporary access, as well as a host of monitoring capabilities that inform the user when the door has been opened and at what time.
IoT is quickly changing the way in which millions of smart homeowners see their monthly utility bill, allowing the user to both monitor their daily energy usage, and remotely increase or decrease heating within their home via wifi connection. While this smart device allows consumers to have full control over their thermostat, a whole new level of smart is added through the capability of the device learning your routine based on the time of day that you’ve previously increased or decreased the temperature, and programming itself so that it can automatically adjust the heating to your liking.
Wink hub 2
When turning your house into an IoT smart home, having an acute sense of control probably tops the list for reasons to do so. Unfortunately the technology world isn’t made up of just one producer of all smart home devices, so you’ll most likely find yourself purchasing your tech from a whole host of different brands such as google, amazon, philips, nest etc. This all results in the use of multiple applications to control all that tech—which probably isn’t quite the organisation and efficiency you were hoping for.
Wink might just save the day when it comes to IoT control, connecting with third-party smart home devices through Z-Wave, ZigBee, Lutron Clear Connect, Kidde, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. This HUB supports most big players in the smart home devices area from Philips to Google Home, enabling you to monitor anything from thermostats, door locks, ceiling fans, and lights all from just one mobile app.
Logitech Harmony Elite
If you prefer controlling your connected devices the old fashioned way by pushing buttons, this is the device for you.
The Harmony can control a lot more than just TV’s, giving you a universal remote control for all your IoT gadgets via wifi connectivity. The Harmony sends sequences of commands to the system components to configure them for the activities selected through infrared or radio frequency. In addition, The Harmony Home Hub controls Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices in your home.
Now, who’s got the remote?