With the rise (and rise) of technology there is no doubt that our homes are getting smarter. Whether it’s controlling the central heating remotely from work or boiling the kettle from your bed, the possibilities of living smarter are endless thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple of decades, it’s impossible to have missed the huge impact that the Internet has had on our day-to-day existence. Millions of people now communicate, shop, learn and play online every day from desktops, tablets, phones and even watches. And as every new device and app is introduced to the market, these smart devices get that little bit smarter. Each cool gadget has the power to transform our lifestyles and – for the most part – offer us a better quality of living than ever before.
If you are in the market for a luxury new apartment this year and you want your home to be that little bit more intelligent, here’s a quick run through the IoT and how you could integrate it into life at Quartermile.
The Internet of Things is not actually a new concept, you might be surprised to hear. It was a term coined back in 1989 and has been on the rise ever since. It influences the way we work, live and travel – but it is only recently that such an array of convenient home automation technologies have been made available via easy-to-use smartphone apps.
In short, IoT is a sophisticated network of items that use the latest advances in electronics, sensors and software to automate or remotely control tasks that are integral to everyday life. If configured correctly, IoT devices and apps can work together, utilising an online network to exchange and collate data that works towards your demands and preferences. As well as talking to each other, these devices and apps can talk to you, informing you that you’re out of milk, reminding you of a forgotten appointment that you have to attend or alerting you via text before you leave the house to inform you whether you might need to take the umbrella with you to protect you from a rain shower forecast for later the same day.
Smart technology can be beneficial in almost every room of your home. Here’s some of the best tech you’ll find on the market today.
The modern kitchen features more electrical appliances than any other room in the home. Each one is designed to add speed and convenience to life – from blenders to kettles, toasters to refrigerators. And with electronics companies around the world fighting for you to buy their latest release, there is no shortage of technical wizardry now available on the market.
The iKettle means there’s no more standing around waiting for your kettle to boil (an activity that can often feel similar to watching paint dry). The iKettle can be controlled by an app to boil the kettle from wherever you are in your house, meaning hot water is waiting for you when you arrive in your kitchen. Through the app you can even schedule boiling times, which is ideal if you have a tight morning schedule that you like to run with military precision. The same sentiment applies to the CrockPot Smart Slow Cooker, which allows you to monitor and adjust the temperature of your simmering dish so that it’s ready for eating the moment you are ready for it.
Smart fridges are at the centre of the IoT takeover, and there are several models now on the market, each offering their own unique advantages. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is fast-becoming a favourite, thanks to its three built in cameras and family connectivity. Rather than hanging your old-fashioned calendar by a fridge magnet, the digital display shows up the family schedule on the touchscreen. Each family member can use the app to add reminders, send notes and share photos.
Looking for something a bit different? The Sub-Zero IT-36CIID Fridge Freezer uses NASA technology to perfectly purify the air in your fridge, which is reported to eliminate mould and bacteria so that your food stays fresher for longer.
Smart coffee machines are also making it even easier to enjoy the beverages that you know and love. Models have the ability to slow or cold brew to perfection, send capsule re-order reminders directly to your phone, wake you up in the morning with a cheery message and a coffee, and even analyse the freshness of beans. Alongside smart ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers, you can make the walls of your kitchen smart too. The Alno Kitchen Display is a kitchen backsplash like no other, you can watch your favourite cooking shows as you prepare food, browse recipes online as you are looking through your cupboards for ingredients and even take a video call hands-free as you’re cooking.
The living room of your apartment should be the ultimate space for rest and relaxation, but it is so easy to let housework get on top of you, especially in this well-used area. That’s where iRobot Roomba comes in. As just one of the robotic vacuum models available, Roomba unlocks a number of time saving advantages, and will drive itself around your home and even adjust its technique to the floor surfaces it encounters. Other robot vacuums also have the ability to clean corners like a pro, provide an even better result courtesy of their panoramic on-board cameras, alert you when the bag needs emptying, and even mop hard surfaces, too.
If your pet likes to spend its days sunning itself on the rug in the living room, IoT has got you covered. In addition to the increasing popularity of smart collars, which track your animal’s whereabouts, activity and even mood, there are also a number of gadgets available to help you keep tabs on your pet when it’s home alone. Petcube lets you check in on your pet directly from your tablet or smartphone when you’re not at home, whilst PetChatz is designed to dish out treats, too.
Getting up in the morning can be a real pain for most but with Ivee Sleek you can reap the rewards of a voice activated assistant at your bedside. Similar to the Amazon Echo, you can manage other devices, retrieve information from online, set reminders for yourself and your family, and so much more. Smart blankets, beds and sleep monitors may also come in handy here. The Outlast Temperature Regulating Sheets System uses NASA technology to ensure a good night’s sleep, whilst the Sleep Number Mattress collects essential data such as breathing rate, heart rate and movements during the night.
Wish you could take control of your lighting? There are now several apps that allow you to turn on the lights on your way home in the evening (to save fumbling around in the dark in your hallway), or even dim them to set the right mood before you arrive.
Devices that help you control your home’s heating from your phone are probably the most publicised IoT technology today. As well as adjusting your heating to your exact preferences, they can be used to make your heating habits more energy efficient so you can save both the environment and your bank balance.
Smart home security and safety is also high on the IoT agenda. New smoke detectors can send alerts about problems to your phone, while any intrusion that sets your burglar alarm off can also push notifications direct to your chosen devices.
Are you looking to incorporate a bit of IoT into your next home? Then you’ll want a home that’s every bit as cool and stylish as the tech you get to run it. Discover the apartments at Quartermile here or book yourself an appointment by calling 0845 000 2525.