My remote control broke the other day (after Cherry and J poured apple juice inside it!) and it made me realise just how reliant I am on gadgets in the home.
Being able to just sit down and change the channel has become so normal that having to get up and walk over to the telly to do it felt like such a chore. So much of one that I ended up just leaving it on the same channel all night!
Nowadays though a remote control is actually a pretty basic gadget and as technology has advanced so have the things that are being designed to make our lives easier.
Here is some of the latest creations in the world of home gadgets…
Intelligent thermostats – These days you can get intelligent thermostats which track your energy usage and find the most efficient way to keep you at room temperature. You can even use a smart phone to control them remotely so you can turn on the heating whilst you’re on the train home, ensuring your house is nice and cosy when you step through the door.
Wireless media – Centralised media servers mean that you can now control all your entertainment with an app on your tablet or phone. The days of getting up to change the record are over now that you can stream music straight to your phone and send it directly to your home audio system. You can even set a film to start in the living room while checking your emails in the kitchen!
Digital bathrooms – The bathroom is the last place you’d expect to find technological innovation in the home, but now you can even enjoy the benefits of digital showers. Thanks to processors that can accurately gauge water temperature and blend hot and cold to the perfect heat, showering has never been more enjoyable. Digital showers from Mira work with both pressurised systems and combi-boilers to provide a shower that will never be too hot or too cold.
Smart bulbs – Oddly enough, you can now get Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs. Why would a light bulb need internet access? Well, it’s so you can talk to them using an app on your phone, allowing you to adjust the colour and brightness of the light. Set it to romance for a naughty night in, or program your lights to gradually brighten in the morning to help you wake up.
Transparent televisions – If you’re of the ilk that says TVs are taking over the modern living room, then the transparent telly could be right up your street. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a normal TV when it’s turned on, and a see-through pane of glass when it’s turned off. You could even hang a painting behind it!
Demisting mirrors – If you’re fed up of preening in front of a misty mirror every morning, say hello to this simple piece of technology. Demisting mirrors have a heating element in them which helps them to repel condensation, meaning you’ll never have to smear a clean mirror with a soggy towel again.
Smart plugs – Thanks to Belkin’s WeMo, you can turn almost any appliance into a smart appliance. It’s basically a reinvention of the plug-in timer for the smart phone generation. Just plug it into the wall, plug an appliance into it, and you can control when it turns on and off using your smart phone. Easy.
Home automation – You might not think it, but most things in your home can be controlled by a central computer. For example, you can program your shutters to open slowly in the morning to wake you up, or to close slightly when a room gets above a certain temperature. You can get motion sensors that turn on lights when you enter a room, so you can save energy and dispense with switches altogether.
Apps for home improvement – Apps for your phone or tablet can make living comfortably that little bit easier. One app, called Home Interior Layout Designer, lets you plan out a redesign of your living space, allowing you to see what the room will look like before you take the plunge. Another, ColorChange, lets you take a picture of a room and shows you what it would look like in a variety of different colours and shades. So your phone can actually help you to create a more comfortable environment.
Smart Locks – Goji smart locks are a interesting new development in home security. They allow you to lock and unlock your front door using your phone, or automatically when you get home. You can text a virtual ‘key’ to your friend or neighbour, so you can let someone in when you’re not at home. You can program it to alert you when someone enters your home, and it will even take a picture of whoever is knocking at your door.
Energy-saving tech – As gas and electricity prices soar, people are looking to reduce their energy usage and tech manufacturers are picking up on this in a big way. LED light bulbs, Wi-Fi thermostats, automated washing machines and solar panels can all be monitored for their energy use, giving you complete control over your energy consumption. Then you can rest a little easier in the knowledge that you’re saving money and helping the environment at the same time.
A glimpse of the future of home technology – Tech giant Apple has recently been granted a patent for an ‘intelligent automated assistant’ for use in the home. What this means is anyone’s guess, but it’s probably something like Siri converted for use in the home. I’m imagining a robot in the wall that makes roast dinner every night and never complains!
Who’d have thought a light bulb needed wi-fi?!
And would you trust a smart lock?!
I do love the sound of a transparent telly though!
This is a commissioned post.