There’s been a lot of talk about smart technology and more of us than ever before are now enjoying it at home. The rising popularity of smart tech looks certain to continue, with the range of products expanding all of the time. If you are keen to add the best examples of smart tech to your home, read on to discover our top five picks.
What is smart home technology?
Smart home technology refers to gadgets or systems that use the internet in order to allow the user to program them. Not only that, but they can communicate useful information back to you, and often work together with other smart tech items, too. This type of technology is known as the Internet Of Things (IoT), and is key to scientists’ vision of the fully automated smart home of the future.
You can operate your smart home gadgets via voice activation (think smart speakers, for example), through apps on your smartphone or tablet or through a simple-to-install control panel.
The five best smart home buys
Perhaps the most popular example of smart home technology, buying a smart speaker makes a great starting point for creating a smarter home. Amazon’s range of Echo smart speakers make an excellent choice and is now available in a wide range of models. Starting with the budget-friendly Echo Dot through to speakers which combine screens, you can connect your Echo to other smart tech, such as smart plugs and even your thermostat, which can then be controlled entirely through voice commands.
2.Echobee Smart Thermostat
This clever device pairs well with that Echo. In fact, it even has Amazon’s Alexa support built in. It can play music (link it to your Spotify playlists) and, of course, does a great job of controlling the temperature of your home. It comes with a sensor that you can place away from the main control panel, ensuring that all of your home is just the right temperature for you. The control panel itself is a stylish touchscreen that is large enough to ensure clear visibility and ease of use.
3.August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
When it comes to keeping your home secure, this intelligent lock makes a great addition to your security measures. Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit, the August wi-fi smart lock also works with a range of security systems. It’s easy to install and much less bulky than its rivals. Best of all, you can continue to use your existing set of keys.
4.Belkin Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Coming in at less than £30, this plug is the perfect way to control a range of appliances. It connects wirelessly to your chosen voice assistant (it’s compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and HomeKit), allowing you to turn on lamps and other devices with simple voice commands. It’s streamlined shape means that it won’t block other socket points, unless some other smart plugs on the market. You can even schedule your appliances to turn on or off, which makes it a useful security tool if you’re away from home.
This clever tool is the lifestyle enhancer that you never knew you needed. A smart garage door opener, the Chamberlain MyQ works by having a sensor installed on your garage door. There is then a hub which connects the sensor to an app on your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to open the door remotely. It even enables you to check if your garage door is open or closed when you are away from home, making it a boon for security as well as putting an end to struggling with garage doors in the rain.