Is 2017 set to be the year that you’re not the smartest being in your home?
Well, if you’re worried that robots like H.A.L. from 2001: A Space Odyssey will take over, we’re here to put your mind at rest. Here’s the smart technology that’ll be moving in to your home for good this year.
It gets clever before you even open the front door. With smart entry technology, your smartphone can open your house for you. A handy app can even let in your friends and family if you’re running late or stuck in traffic. And with a doorbell that doubles a camera and microphone, you can ask the postman to leave that all-important package on the doorstep.
It seems like only yesterday that printers went wireless. Well, now we’re on the cusp of printing almost anything. 3D printing works by churning out layers of material to build a 3D model. Plastic is the material of choice, but you can print with almost anything – from food to metal. Create 3D models yourself, or let websites such as Thingiverse.com inspire you.
Smartphones have introduced us to voice assistant already with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Now, tech companies such as Amazon offer the same for your home. With a little help from the Internet-of-Things (IoT)and interconnected gadgets, you can ask Echo and ‘Alexa’ to play your hoovering playlist, add eggs to your shopping list, and tell you if it’s going to rain later. As more appliances become hooked up to the IoT, expect your home life to become ever more joined up.
2017 is the year your home is set to become smart. Instead of an on/off switch to control your home’s temperature, a smart thermostat lets you heat your house from a smartphone, schedule specific heating for different rooms and times of day, and track your heating use. GPS can even detect when you’re on your way home and turn up the heat.
Water meters have got the smart treatment, too. They let you monitor your usage online 24/7 – giving you greater control of your bill. You only pay for what you use, find any leaks before you spot them, and even show which family member takes the longest showers.
Virtual reality (VR) – a computer-generated environment that lets you experience a simulated reality through a headset – has been around a while. Now with improvements to functionality, content and price, it’s finally set for find a place in homes this year. Tech companies set to steal your gaze include Google, Sony and Oculus Rift.
So, we might not be at H.A.L. level yet, but your home is definitely set to become smarter in 2017. Not take-over-the-world clever, just smart enough to make living easier. From games that let you immerse yourself in another world, to smart meters that slash your bills, and 3D printers that make those last-minute presents much simpler to give.
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