by Jane Noble
Sep. 23, 2016
Intelligent devices are already intertwined with our daily lives. How many of you could be parted from your smartphone? Over the next decade, tens of millions of new devices will be created, equipped with sensors that will generate more real-time data than ever before. This data will be used to tailor products to our needs and anticipate what we want next before we even know ourselves.
It is within our homes that we are beginning to experience more and more interconnectedness.
Your thermostat controls more energy that your electronics or appliances. NEST has created a thermostat that helps you save energy by learning what temperature you like and building a personalized schedule to suit you. Use it for a week and it programs itself, adapting to your habits and the seasons. For example, if you turn down the heating on your way to bed, it will remember that and adjust accordingly. It will turn up the heating so it is a comfortable temperature for you to enjoy breakfast. It knows when you are away based on built in sensors and your phone’s location and changes to Auto-Away to save energy when you’ve gone. If you plan on being back early, you can adjust the heating or cooling from your phone. The app shows you how much energy you use every day to make you more aware. It can also show you the weather, temperature or time. If you add more NEST products to your home, they will automatically work together and can all be controlled from the same app.
A new breed of LED lightbulbs allows you to change from warm to cool lighting and also lets you alter the actual color of the bulb, all from a mobile app. Whether you are in the mood for soft romantic lighting or something more theatrical, you can enjoy your own personal wireless lighting system at the mere tap of a screen. You can set timers to produce different colors or types of lighting throughout the day. Wake up to a Serengeti sunrise or dine by candlelight with a simple swipe. You can even find a party mode for flashing in time with the music. Products in this rapidly growing space include Philips Hue, Lümen by Tabü, Osram Lightify, GE Link, iLumi, Lifx and Cree.
Fridge magnets and sticky notes just went to the next level. Who would ever have thought that your fridge could be the most exciting thing in your home? Well the newly launched Family Hub refrigerator by Samsung could be just that. It has a giant touch screen attached to the door that shows your calendar, photos, notes etc. You can browse on the internet or it can mirror the program being shown on your Samsung TV. When you are running low, you can use Groceries by Mastercard straight from the fridge door to shop directly from Fresh Direct or Shop Rite and have the groceries delivered to your home. Want a little music while you are preparing dinner? Tune in to your favorite Pandora station which will play through the door embedded speakers.
There are even 3 cameras that take a photo of the inside of your fridge about 10 seconds after you close the door. This means you can hit a button and see what’s inside your fridge without opening the door. This is all in addition to the usual basic fridge functions like keeping things cool and making ice.
The Family Hub fridge starts at $5,799.
A combination of outdoor cameras, door lock cameras and continuous video recording all controlled from your phone can bring you peace of mind knowing that your home is safe when you are away. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection you can check in on each room in your home and receive notifications. From the same app you can lock and unlock your door and open and close your garage doors. You have your smart home in the palm of your hand.