Five Benefits of Smart Home Tech

Monday, 27 January 2014

2014 looks to be the year when big consumer electronics brands really push two trends: wearable tech and smart homes. But how are these linked, and what are the real benefits for early adopters?

1. Security

If you think the only high-tech way to protect your belongings is to order home insurance online, then think again. Samsung's new Smart Home technology, unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, allows users to keep an eye on their homes through cameras placed in TVs and other appliances.

Budget option: The AUGUST Smart Lock is retrofitted to deadlocks to enable selected smartphones to unlock the door. Useful if your neighbour needs to feed the cat.

2. Maintenance

One of the most impressive features of Samsung's Smart Home setup is its customer service function, which enables appliances to notify the app when a part needs cleaning or replacing. This means no more sudden malfunctions.

Budget option: Nothing yet. They've got us here.

3. Style

Controlling your home using watches and sunglasses sounds great, but a recent survey by techsperts CSR found that 72% of people will only buy wearable tech if it looks good. This year, brands are starting to listen - Vuzix and Epson are among those unveiling smart (and stylish) glasses to rival Google Glass.

Budget option: Firms like Burg build sleek smart watches that undercut big rivals like Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

4. Energy savings

Connecting your appliances can help your home to operate more efficiently, as users can quickly turn everything off at once when they're heading out, or even after they've left.

Budget option: The WeMo Light Switch by Belkin connects every light in the house via wifi, so lighting can be managed remotely, from anywhere in the world.

5. Friendship

LG's HomeChat system enables its users to text appliances in everyday language, eliminating all of that futuristic robo-speak. And not only is it an easy way to take a quick stock check of your fridge, but the playful replies LG promises may well make it an amusing route out of conversations with dull guests.

Budget option: Vet visitors with a SkyBell wifi doorbell.


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