With the idea of ‘the connected home’ becoming a growing trend, the amount of ‘smart’ and Bluetooth-enabled products is growing exponentially. The future may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean that all the utensils in our homes have to emit a neon glow, or connect to the Wi-Fi. Trying to pick out the potent from the pointless? Take a look at this list of five gadgets that may (or may not) be useful in your home.
Smart Assistant (Smart Speakers)
Smart Assistants and smart speakers, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (used through the Amazon Echo and Google Home Hub speakers respectively) are extremely popular at the moment, and they are expected to grow in ownership by 47% this year.
Too lazy to get up and change the TV channel or radio channel by using the remote? Smart speakers can also integrate with a wide range of technology within the house, some new and some pre-existing.
Many who already have the technology in their homes are actually already taking it for granted, as it allows to set reminders, play or pause music, and time alarms all on command. With the Amazon Echo line of speakers, for example, you can even purchase products from Amazon directly through voice control. They are the perfect jump-off point for someone looking to dip their toes into the trend.
Smart lighting and smart light bulbs, controllable via apps, can be an incredible, energy-efficient change to your home, without actually having to move any furniture around or do anything properly. Smart lighting is also a great way to impress friends when they visit, as you can quickly turn the vibe around from boring front room to designated party destination with a push of a button (or the sound of your voice if investing in a smart assistant).
Again, with its ability to quickly shift the mood and vibe of an environment, smart lighting is also the perfect tech upgrade for those with reduced space, perhaps living in a city centre apartment or flat. Property investment companies such as RW Invest are already employing this sort of technology into their apartment offerings across Liverpool and Manchester to investors, and it is a popular way of maximising space for the efficient worker.
No longer living with your parents and so don’t have anyone to spoon-feed you your dinner? Not to worry, developing cutlery technology can provide a modern take on the ‘here comes the airplane’ method. Bluetooth forks, for example, from HAPI, connect to an app on your phone and measure statistics such as how fast you’re eating your food and so on.
Do you need it? Ask yourself the question, do you think you’re capable of monitoring how fast you wolf down your own meal? If the answer is no, investing in a Bluetooth fork shouldn’t be the first course of action.
A stable, consistent internet connection is crucial in a smart home, as all of your devices need it to even start functioning. This should realistically be one of the first things you consider when kitting out your home, as it will make the process a lot smoother and remove any potential frustrations.
Do you need it? Having problems with patchy internet in certain rooms, or an overload of device on the internet kicking you off it? Boosters can do nothing but good for your home, and don’t take up anything more than some plug space.
If Polly refuses to put the kettle on, then perhaps ask Alexa instead. Smart kettles are here, and they’re doing exactly what you think they might be doing: Turning on and boiling your kettle without you needing to manually walk over to them. That’s it. There are different models available, some with additional bells and whistles, but it’s a simple and novelty concept.
Do you need it? If you want to be able to boil the kettle without having to get off the couch, I suppose?
By: Ethan Hunt