Some of you may remember a certain Disney Channel movie from the late ‘90s called “Smart House”. It featured a small family that wins a competition to own a new state of the art home that had everything automated and controlled by a virtual AI assistant. It was meant to be a kids sci-fi version of a home way in the future. But that future is actually here right now!
With the advent of the internet, more and more of our everyday appliances and personal devices have become connected online, while at the same time disconnecting cables in favor of wireless connectivity. There are now a number of consumer devices on the market that cater towards households that want more convenience and remote control over their home.
Google Nest - this entire article could be just about Google’s own Nest line of products. All are interconnected with home networks and can be controlled remotely by the user from practically anywhere. A few examples include their popular thermostats, home security cameras, doorbells, locks and alarm system.
Smart assistants - Google, Apple and Amazon all have their own versions of virtual home assistants, just like in Smart House. Unlike the movie, these won’t try to enslave your family (as far as we know :P ), but they will help in setting reminders, playing music, checking the weather/traffic, controlling any proprietary devices that allow for remote control by the home assistant, and a number of other useful things
Robotic vacuums - both Neato’s Botvac and iRobot’s Roomba now feature models that are connected online and can be controlled remotely by the owner. You can set vacuuming schedules, establish no-go zones in your house, and set vacuuming routines from anywhere while you’re away from home.
Smart plugs - these small devices plug into your typical wall outlet and allow you to set the time and day for devices connected to it to be turned on and off. This is great for doing things like turning “dumb” coffee makers into “smart” ones that a preprogrammed to start brewing right as you get up to start your day.
Smart lighting - if you want to be able to remotely control the mood and color of your home’s lighting, maybe to have a dance party or dim the lights for a movie, Philips Hue lighting products are industry leading and easy to install and use.
Smart workout machines - products that help you stay fit are also becoming interconnected with the internet. Popular, and expensive, Peloton bikes have tons of on-demand and live videos for cycling. For those who something to help with general home workouts, Mirror fitness systems use a literal mirror to stream a variety of workouts, while monitoring the users progress.