From heating which turns on automatically when we’re within two miles of the house, to front doors which only open when a recognised face appears, we now have the opportunity to turn our regular homes into smart homes.
A new study by appliance repair network Go-Assist.co.uk reveals that 29% of the UK adult population would consider purchasing at least one smart home device in 2017. However, recent figures from Deloitte state that just 3% of households currently have smart home devices installed, up from 2% the year before. These figures are slightly below PwC’s figures, which estimate 5% of homes are using smart technology.
The most well known smart home product is NEST, a thermostat which learns your habits and controls your heating, allowing for complex personalisation and automation. The device uses wifi to connect to your mobile phone, giving you complete access to your home’s temperature no matter where you are.
NEST, the poster child of the industry, was acquired for $3.2 billion (£2.6 million) by Google in 2014. However, earlier this year the founder Tony Fadell stepped down after disappointing sales over the last 24 months.
Similar products have joined the market to rival NEST. These include British Gas’ HIVE and the Honeywell Lyric, a thermostat which tracks your location via your mobile phone and turns on the heating or air conditioning depending on your distance from the house.
Home security is another popular area which smart devices are tackling. Sentri, which is less expensive than a traditional security system and does not require professional installation, provides a 360-view camera which allows you to view your house remotely via your phone.
There’s also Canary, a small home security camera device which includes a siren to chase away thieves. Goji takes this one step further, acting as a lock for your front door, sending photos of visitors to your phone and even giving temporary access if you’re away.
Handling all these devices from many different apps can become complicated and problematic. To solve this, Amazon has created Echo, a voice activated device which allows you to control everything plus play certain music depending on your mood.
In the latest Apple IOS updates, iPhones now include the ‘home’ button, designed to be the hub for connecting and controlling your smart home devices. This is undoubtedly the way the future is taking our homes.