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Household tech - how tech savvy is your home?

image3 october19

The digital revolution and the internet of things have seen a sea change not only in the way we work but also in the ways we organise our homes – making life more comfortably connected at the touch of a button.

So, let’s take a brief look at all the technology that helps to make that happen and ask yourself just how tech-savvy is your home.

Creature comforts

Home is where you need to feel snug and cosy. And there’s unlikely to be anything more welcoming than to arrive home to find that the temperature is already just how you want it.

There’s little new in letting the thermostat govern the ambient temperature, of course, but these days you can control it remotely from your smartphone. This is what Google’s Nest Thermostat E lets you do – it knows when there’s no one at home, saving you precious energy, but can be programmed from your ‘phone to activate precisely when you need it.

Remote switching

An equally affordable gadget – the WeMo® Insight Switch from Belkin – is a plug socket from which you can power any number of different devices and programme them to turn on and off through an internet-connected switch.

Whether you control the switch from your mobile phone, tablet or computer, you remain in complete remote control of TVs, fans, lights, electric heaters, wall units, washers, dryers, and anything else you have plugged into the mains.

Sounds

The Sonos Beam is a soundbar like no other.

Not only does it reproduce high definition sound from your music centre or TV, but you can also control it by voice, remotely or via the Sonos app on your smartphone.

If you’ve learned to live and work with Amazon’s voice-activated Echo or Google’s Assistant by your side, the Beam also has both of these built-in.

SmartThings

Packed into a single starter kit is an array of gadgets that help keep every appliance in your home connected.

At the heart of Samsung’s SmartThings Starter Kit is the Hub to which everything else is connected. It includes a remotely-controlled smart plug and three different sensors helping you control devices such as Philips Hue adjustable smart lighting or Lifx wifi-enabled LED lighting systems.

Security

Security cameras have also joined the internet of things. In this case, Netgear’s Arlo Q not only switches on when sound or motion is detected, but the audio-video recording is automatically uploaded to the cloud and sends an alert to the app on your smartphone.

The car

It is not only in the home that is getting smarter. In future, every new home that is built must have a charging point for an electric car – and all the interconnected gadgets that modern cars incorporate.

The volume of electric cars on British roads still accounts for only 2.7% of the total bought last year. But the relevant legislation on charging points is expected to be introduced as part of the government’s plans to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050, according to a story published in the Financial Times on the 15th of July.

(Read our article: The best electric cars for 2019, here).

The information cited in this article is accurate at the time of writing.

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