Smart items are everywhere these days, from remotely-activated kettles to voice-operated home assistants.
Not all smart objects perform essential functions, but some can definitely take the stress out of day-to-day living.
Whether you’re looking to enhance a home or manage a holiday property from afar, there’s often a piece of smart tech that will fit the bill…
Keep your property safe and secure
Before you consider upgrading the inside of a house, it’s worth looking at the exterior applications for smart technology.
There are plenty of front-door focused gadgets, for example, which can help improve security.
Smart doorbells can pick up motion even if someone doesn’t ring the bell, and others can send you recorded footage of who’s on your doorstep to your smart phone.
Keyless locks are also becoming more popular.
These can automatically lock doors when you leave or open them when you arrive, making getting through the door with both hands full a much easier prospect.
Staying ‘smart’, these locks can even provide a history of their usage, link up with home assistants and provide temporary access for guests.
Smart tech has also expanded out into the garden and the garage as well.
You can now install devices that automatically activate garage doors when the right driver approaches, let you know the garage temperature and alert you if the door is ever left open by accident.
If you have an unruly lawn that needs taming, a robot lawnmower could be the answer.
Today’s auto-mowers are a touch above the early models, able to trim their way around strange-shaped patches of grass and mulch the clippings along the way.
Once the lawn is cut, it might need watering, which is where smart sprinklers come into play.
These devices can be connected to home assistants for easy access and the best models detect when the lawn is already soaked, preventing wasteful water usage.
Making a house an efficient home
Home assistants really come into their own when combined with other tech.
In a bid to make everything as connected as possible, companies are working hard to make sure that smart home systems sync up with each other.
This means that by voice or app input, you can dim the lights, turn up the temperature and crack on the sound system.
Now you can say goodbye to coming home to a cold house and waiting for the central heating to kick in. With a smart thermostat you can arrange for the heating to come on while you’re still out and about.
A smart thermostat can also detect when you leave the house and switch to low-energy mode.
Even the humble smoke detector has received an upgrade in the 21st century, with smart versions able to differentiate between smoke and steam.
Fancier models can link up with compatible thermostats and turn off the heating if they detect carbon monoxide.
A penny-saving piece of tech is the smart plug, which can reduce energy bills by turning off devices and appliances left on standby.
As with most ‘smart’ inventions, smart plugs can be controlled via an app, so you can be notified of unused devices that could be deactivated for a time.
Smart lights now incorporate programs to repeat your usual routines of turning lights on and off. Aside from being convenient when you’re home, they can also create the illusion that someone’s in when you’re away.
Finally, if you’ve got no time to clean, automated vacuums have been created to fit the bill.
Most higher-end models can navigate a conventional floorplan while avoiding obstacles like shoes or furniture; just don’t expect them to do stairs!
Home automation and smart technology is still a (relatively) new field, but it is an area which could make managing a home – and even managing an overseas property – a lot easier in the future!