Turn a simple house into a clever home with devices designed for automated living.
Australia may be behind the United States and United Kingdom when it comes to smart homes but connected devices are set to make our lives a little more Jetsons-esque in 2017 and beyond. A host of smart gadgets are already making life easier – or at least more interesting. While much has been written about multi-room audio and smart scales, you can put these nifty devices to work all around the house – even outside.
Belkin WeMo Switch and LED Lighting
Belkin’s WeMo range is one of the simplest ways to start creating a smart home. The Switch turns devices such as TVs, lamps and fans into smart ones, letting you schedule operating times from the WeMo App. It’s also compatible with external apps such as Google Home. The energy-efficient smart LED light bulbs access your wi-fi via an adaptor plugged into a power point. You can then dim the lights or switch them on and off using your phone or tablet. $70 (Switch); $70 (Lighting Starter Set)
Kwikset Kevo smart lock
The Kevo smart lock uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone but opens only when you tap your finger to the door lock – meaning you don’t have to fumble around for your phone with an armful of groceries. You can share eKeys with tradespeople, pet-sitters and house guests so you don’t have to hand out sets of keys (and also deactivate those eKeys after they’ve been used). The Kevo deadbolt system is self-install – find it at your local Bunnings hardware store. $269
Arlo is a very clever, completely wireless IP security camera that’s a breeze to set up, thanks to the magnetic mounting brackets. It records live HD video, which you can access from anywhere using an intuitive app. The winning points here are the battery life (four to six months) and the fact it’s designed for indoor and outdoor use – rain, hail or shine. From $327
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
The smart fridge is fast becoming the heart of the connected home. Samsung’s Family Hub is a 670-litre, four-door fridge that connects via a wi-fi network and uses a 21.5- inch touchscreen interface. The screen functions as a digital message-board and can also play music and video. Internal cameras enable you to check the fridge’s contents even when you are out and about, while the built-in Woolworths app lets you do your grocery shopping. $7499