The family home has changed a lot over the last few decades. Where once the family would gather around the TV together after tea, they are now sprawled across the house enjoying their own individual devices such as smartphones and tablets.
As technology becomes more prevalent, society becomes more focused on efficiency. People are having less children and want less wasted space in their homes. For some people, having a big garden is no longer as desirable due to the extra work involved in maintaining it. All the adults in the house are expected to work and the children go to school. With everyone so busy, any corner that can be cut, should be.
This may be why there is increasing discussion about smart homes and The Internet of Things. Last year we talked about the Internet of Things in a blog article – the concept of everyday objects in the home having a WiFi connection so they can communicate with the ‘net and with each other. We also discussed how the Internet of Things will benefit the family home and make it smarter.
These aren’t ideas about the distant future: right now smart tech for the home is already being produced and sold, with new ideas popping up every day. It’s still early days and smart tech for the home still has a long way to go, but there are some really cool trends you can take up today. Here’s a look at some of the technology around that can make your home smarter.
The kitchen is a pretty special room in the home because it’s where the food lives. I love to cook and my dream is to one day have a big kitchen with lots of bench space and all the bells and whistles. The latest bells and whistles for your home are in the form of smart tech.
Pantelligent is a clever frying pan that takes into account what you are cooking, measures the heat of the pan and cooks accordingly for the perfect meal. If you’re the type of cook who manages to burn cereal, this is a great device, as it alerts you through the linked app when your pan is not warm enough, too hot, or at the desired temperature and tells you when to flip the food and when to take it off the heat.
Once the food is done, why not plate it up with another great device: SmartPlate. This plate is so smart that I am declaring witchcraft, though apparently the secret is advanced object recognition, weight sensors and a connected smartphone app. These three features all work together to measure the food in your plate and tell you how many calories are in your meal and alert you when you over-serve. The best part is, despite all the techy stuff going on inside, it is still microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher safe.
The most controversial room of the house is the bathroom. All sorts of arguments centre on the bathroom: arguments about which way round the toilet paper should go, who left the toilet seat up, who’s taking the longest showers. Though it’s not yet advanced enough to solve every bathroom conflict, smart tech is on its way to alleviating some of these bathroom issues.
Hydrao is the showerhead that made waves at CES 2016, even taking home a CES Innovation Award. As an environmental science graduate, I am all about green technology, especially if it saves the most important resource to human survival: water. Hydrao fits any standard shower hose and alerts shower users at different intervals of water consumption via coloured LED lights: Green for 10L, Orange for 30L and a dark pink when you go over 30L. It has an accompanying app where you can track your shower lengths and water usage. I bet my Dad would have loved to have this kind of evidence to use against me in his constant scolding about my lengthy showers (I promise I’m a lot better now).
We laughed at “Dr. Toilet” in Scrubs, but smart toilets are a very real thing. Japan has been well ahead of the toilet game for quite some time, boasting the most advanced toilets in the world and they’re even looking at smart toilets that can measure health information from waste. While we’re waiting for these diagnosing dunnies, a familiar name has entered the smart toilet foray. Hyundai is actually one of the largest manufacturers of bidet toilet seat: a smart toilet evolution from the old French bidets. Hyundai has bidets that are self-cleaning and let you adjust the temperature of the seat as well as the temperature of the water, so you don’t get a cold shock from the spray!
Your bedroom is your personal space in the home and the place you indulge in that wonderful luxury we call sleep. As important as sleep is, many of us aren’t getting enough of it and it can be the smallest thing like an uncomfortable mattress that can prevent us from entering snoozeville. CES 2015 Innovation Awards Winner ReST Bed™ aims to provide a better night sleep with the help of technology. The bed has pressure sensors, so as you move in your sleep the pressure-sensing mattress automatically responds to make sure you always have the perfect amount of support for your body. It also tracks sleep data without having to worry about wearables.
As smart home tech continues to grow and expand, we are sure to see even more exciting things in this space.
What smart home tech would you love to have? Let us know in the comments below