Smart Home of the not so distant future
One of the themes that became trendy at IFA this week was the Smart Home concept introduced by various exhibitors, including Samsung, at the trade show.
Everybody must surely be interested in what can possibly make a home smart, so here’s a list of 10 newly announced products that will surely be in the smart home of the future.
This vacuum cleaner is actually a robot, which will certainly turn your home into a smart home. The Eye actually has live cameras built in with a 360 degree view of its surroundings, to help it map a trajectory around your house and stop when obstacles come in sight. It comes equipped with tank tracks, which allow it to move across different surfaces easily. You can control the Eye remotely via a smartphone phone from wherever you are. You will be able to get it later this fall for $1200.
This is a heating system that you will put in charge of your smart home. The device allows you to manually control the heating of your house based on independent zones and areas of your choice. The device is able to communicate with each radiator in your house so it can give you full control over the temperature in your home via a smartphone or smartwatch application or from its dedicated touchscreen panel. The heating system will set you back $550 for the full kit.
Philips smart air purifier
This air purifier allows you to track and control the quality of the air in your house directly from your smartphone. It will not only turn your house into a smart home, but it will give you clean air, especially if you live in metropolitan areas that are highly polluted. The purifier has not yet been made available for purchase, but it will by the time we gear up for the holidays.
Belkin WeMO Switch
The premises behind this automated system is simple. You get to turn your Wi-Fi enabled devices on or off from anywhere, using the application designed for the job. The switch can work with anything from TVs, lamps, stereos, heaters and more, as long as you plug them into the WeMo Switch. One such switch will set you back $50. You’ll need one for every appliance you want to control, though.
Samsung Smart Home
Smart Home’s portfolio will include digital door locks, location awareness, smart plugs and IP cameras which you will be able to access via your phone or television or even by voice control. A Home View feature was also added to IP camera which will allow you to access your camera’s feeds from wherever you are so you can monitor what’s going on at home or capture your cats stealing some cookies or learning to use the bathroom. The system isn’t available yet, but Samsung hinted at being up and running by 2015.
SONTE Smart Film
This is a digital shade changes colors depending on the light entering the room it is put in. It looks like any other ordinary window-shade, yet it can switch from solid color to see-through in a matter of seconds. It can also provide ambient lighting for the full-moon evenings, if you want it to. What’s neat is that you can install it yourself and control it via an application on your phone. It’s still in the funding phase, but we hope the idea will catch on thanks to the simple design.
Skybell Video Doorbell
This one’s not as innovative as most products on this list, but it is still essential for a smart home that aims to be fully automated and digitized. It’s a doorbell which can record everything that goes on in front of your door, as well as sense motion, send alerts and allows for multiple-channel communication. As with every item on this list, you can access all its features from a smartphone app. It will set you back a consistent $200, which is a bit more than I would pay for it, but hey, everything for your home’s security.
Whirlpool Smart Washer and Dryer
What’s smart about this setup is that you can control it from your phone, meaning that you can set it to start, finish and pause with your laundry in it, set temperatures and programs and monitor the machines’ progress. T%his kit will set you back a large amount of cash, though, around $3000 for both the washer and dryer, but it’s worth it if you’re always on the run and always forget to turn the washing machine on when you leave home.
SmartThings Energy Saver Kit
The Energy Saver Kit comes a pair of our portable, pluggable SmartPower Outlets and the SmartThings Hub. Together, these devices allow you to control, monitor, and automate items such as lamps, electronics, and small appliances that plug into outlets in your home. This setup helps you control the amount of energy each appliance uses and save on that power bill each month. It costs $200 and it’s manufactured by the company which has just been acquired by Samsung to develop the products for its Smart Home automation system.
Whirlpool Smart Refrigerator
This fridge does exactly what you think it does: it monitors your food and temperature and lets you control everything form a distance. You can set it to defrost by the time you get home or activate specific functions. It also helps you manage the power use of the appliance and save energy. It can even wait for you with a fresh glass of ice-cold water already poured. Currently, it’s a discontinued product, but rumors say that Whirlpool will come out with something better, soon. You can still buy it from the outlet store for a hefty @2299 price.