Imagine if you could lock your front door without needing your key. How about being able to turn the lights on and off or brighter and dimmer without needing to get up and flick the switch? Or turning on the coffee machine without leaving your bed and having your wake-me-up drink ready by the time you’re downstairs?
This isn’t science fiction, these are smart home gadgets and they’re taking over the world. These devices are WiFi connected and allow you to control your electronics and appliances from your smartphone, laptop or PC. And it’s not just everyday home activities like turning the heating up or switching plug sockets off. Technology is so advanced that you can even have smart plates that track your calories or smart beds that assess your sleep quality.
Here are some of the most exciting smart gadgets you should watch out for in 2019.
1. Smart Home Security
We all know what it’s like to be running late and forget to lock the door, only to realise when you’re halfway to work or wherever it is that you’re going. Or, when you forget the key and lock yourself out but, unfortunately, no-one will be home for hours to let you back in. Smart home security gadgets can allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely via an app. So, it won’t matter whether you’re miles away or have no key.
The Array Smart Deadbolt from home security specialists Brinks is a cloud-connected, WiFi-enabled smart lock. You can use your smartphone to unlock your doors in two ways: using an eKey or using the Array app. With the app, you can lock and unlock the bolt remotely, activate geofencing and be notified about lock activity. You can even give guests temporary access with one of the 100 eCodes, setting them up for one-time use or within a specified time window.
Somfy, the maker of Somfy One (the all-in-one home security system) will be releasing a deterrent outdoor camera. Expected to debut in October 2018, the outdoor camera will record in HD and feature night vision, wide shots, sirens, microphones to allow for two-way conversations, motion sensors and push alerts to your phone. If you install SomfyVision, you can even activate sirens if strangers stay on your property longer than they should.
2. Smart Fridge Freezer
What if a fridge could extend food shelf life (within safety guidelines, of course) while recommending recipes, monitoring the internal temperature and helping you save energy at the same time?
Samsung’s Family Hub fridge freezers are the ultimate range of smart fridges. Not only can you look inside the fridge freezer without needing to open it (via a panel that turns transparent) to save power usage, but you can also do this via your smartphone. That means you can check your fridge contents whether you’re sitting on the sofa or out grocery shopping.
The latest addition is the Meal Planner app which provides you with recipes based on the food you’ve got in the fridge and your family’s preferences. Integrate this with the built-in Family Calendar to plan meals for the week ahead.
3. Smart Wine Pourer (that Doesn’t Waste Wine)
Have you wanted to have just one glass of wine but don’t want to uncork the bottle and risk spoiling the rest? Smart wine preservers, like Coravin Model Eleven, solve that problem for you.
Coravin Model Eleven is an automated wine preserver that pours you a glass of wine without uncorking the bottle. That’s right, the cork stays in and you can barely tell it’s been pierced. You can use the app to tell you how much wine and gas is left, or to recommend what you could be pairing the wine with (e.g. cake, olives, cheese).
4. Smart Shower
What if you could turn your shower on via a voice command rather than a knob, button or switch? What if your shower could play music so your phone doesn’t need to sustain water damage?
Elmer’s Smart Shower takes showering to the next level. You can turn it on, adjust the temperature, flow and pressure remotely so you can get the water flowing and ready before you get out of bed. The Smart Shower plays music in surround sound via Bluetooth (no need to bring your phone in anymore!) and even sprays essential oils on you for the ultimate spa experience.
Best of all, it’s compatible with Amazon Echo so you can ask Alexa to turn your shower on/off or adjust it for you. It’s currently only available in France, but according to the manufacturer, will be released to the rest of Europe and the US “soon”.
5. Smart Allergen Tracker
Hay Fever, asthma and other allergy sufferers will rejoice from a smart allergen tracker. The Sensio Air will detect allergens, like pollen and dust, as it’s connected to 320 (and counting) sensors placed in countries around the world.
And it doesn’t just notify you of the potential allergens via an app, it tracks pollen count and pollution levels as they change around you and learns what allergens might set off your symptoms. This information is then used to predict when your allergies might flare up.
6. Smart Tap
It’s not just your lights, heating and home security that can be voice controlled. Even the taps in your kitchen can be controlled by Alexa.
Delta have launched the Voice Innovation Faucet which allows you to ask Alexa to do anything from turning on the taps, pouring specific amounts and changing the temperature. And this is all without ever touching the tap yourself, which means no more grubby fingerprints but is ideal for when handling raw meat. Plus, much less water wastage which is great for your wallet and the environment.