Smart devices have moved from our palms into our homes in an effort to keep us safer, greener and more entertained as the world of technology continues to break the boundaries of what is possible. A smart home alleviates the nagging little doubts which start to crowd our mind when we are not there. Have you ever asked yourself, did I turn the lights off? Did I set the security alarm? Did I leave the heating on? With a smart home and a quick check of your smartphone you can control your devices and feel at ease.
According to YouGov’s smart home 2018 report ‘a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices’ and this is continually increasing with tech giants constantly marketing their latest devices.
For tech savvy enthusiasts the launch of a new smart device is exciting but for a technophobe the thought of deciding on which technology you will find most useful in your home in conjunction with the vast range of products and tech jargon can be extremely daunting. In this blog we will aim to make your palm to home transition as easy as possible, outlining user friendly and flexible devices available on the market with our top pick for each. Your transformation starts here…
Gone are the days of bulky surveillance equipment that you need an entire room for. These days home security systems are much more compact and provide a variety of functions with the added benefit of being controlled and viewed directly from your internet-enabled devices.
Some of the latest security systems include motion and glass break sensors, doors fitted with a video doorbell and door locks which open via your smartphone.
Not only can these systems deter would-be thieves or nefarious parties they allow you to keep an eye on pets and children even speaking to them through the devices when needed. Purchasing and installing an intelligent security system is cheaper and easier than ever and can even save you money on your home insurance.
Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Instead of purchasing a new door with built in video doorbell we think the Nest Hello doorbell is a great purchase to start your smart device journey.
RRP £189 (Argos 08/07/19).
The age of the smart kitchen is upon us and there are more connected devices available with an ever-growing list. For many, the kitchen is the hub of the home, a place for families to bond and entertain friends. Therefore, it is to be expected that the mundane appliances are now being designed to double up as media and entertainment devices as well as being controlled from the press of a button on your smartphone.
Hoover’s AXI range has produced an oven with a full screen door with access to apps,
recipes, cooking instruction and even streaming from an onboard camera. Whilst Samsung’s family hub smart fridge boasts a large screen which hosts a variety of apps. The built in camera allows the consumer to view the contents of the fridge from their smartphone so there is no an excuse to forget the milk!
Hiku Digital Shopping List
You could go all out and buy the Samsung Family Hub fridge but that will set you back a whopping £3,999. If you are like me and want to test the waters of smart technology before going all in then this fridge magnet smart device is for you. The Hiku allows you to scan the barcode of grocery items and save them into your shopping list app on your smartphone. At only £34 you would be silly not to.
RRP £34 (Amazon currently out of stock 08/07/19).
Possibly the most frequently used of all smart home devices is the range of voice activated controlled platforms. These devices can integrate with other home tech by giving you the power to remotely dim or turn off lights or adjust the thermostat temperature with simple voice commands. Not only can they be used for specific purposes but equally for entertainment, giving you the ability to play music, play games and become your virtual cooking assistant. The most popular brands of these devices are Amazon and Nest. Both offer a large range of modern design products with different functions to suit any room.
Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)
The latest amazon echo now features new and improved premium speakers for streaming music. Its contemporary design and choice of colours makes it a great addition to any home if you need a easy to use control hub for your smart devices.
RRP £139.99 (Amazon.co.uk 08/07/19)
Whilst you can use your amazon echo or Samsung Family Hub Fridge to play music the quality of sound may not suffice if you are replacing your home stereo.
With the newest products evolving from bluetooth dependent to wi-fi enabled, sound systems have become more refined without compromising aesthetic design. If your a die hard apple fan the Apple HomePod may be a no-brainer but its worth asking the question , how much should you pay for owning a device that fits only seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem?
Depending on where you wish to position the speakers Sonus market a range of suitable speakers for each room. We recommend the two room set with Sonus one, pairing two Sonos Ones together in the same room creates instant stereo/cinema sound.
RRP £348 (sonus.com 10/07/19)
It is important to remember that the devices discussed above are by no means the only smart devices on the market, but with the simple basics covered you will have the information to make effective and comprehensive decisions to make your house a safer and more convenient place to be.
If you need further information on how to improve your home automation and integrate it within the interior design of your property contact one of our experienced interior designers for an informal chat on 01803 295 959 or email us.