05 February 2014
The five gadgets making your home smarter
These gizmos will change your home forever
In the world of home-technology, the future has arrived. Home automation systems now allow people to control everything from a light switch to an electric blind, televisions and DVD players.
There's also a swing towards automation systems from an environmental point of view, says Jon Clements from the Australian Institute of Architects.
And while current gadgets are impressive, the pace of change will bring even more amazing items into people's homes during the next five to 10 years.
Check out these cool gizmos arriving to a home near you.
Nest Protect alarm
The Nest Protect smoke alarm
Forget the ear-piercing screech that comes with current alarms. Nest's whizz-bang smoke alarm projects a recorded human voice telling you exactly where the smoke in your home is coming from or when carbon monoxide levels are rising.
A 'heads-up' and yellow light gives people an early warning and allows you to react if it's just burned toast.
If it is just a nuisance alarm, you can just stand under the apparatus and wave your arm to silence the alert.
A loud alarm and red light means there's a genuine emergency.
LG's voice-activated washing machine
A washer/dryer combination that can be operated by voice and text
LG's latest smart washer made a public debut at recent US technology shows. The machine (and similarly-designed dryer) is fitted with a 'HomeChat' messaging innovation that allows users to, say, start a load of washing or check on the status of their load using their smartphone (or LG television).
NaviBot CornerClean (SR10F71) by Samsung
The Navibot corner cleaner
Korean tech giant Samsung makes vacuuming easier with this 'intelligent robotic cleaner' (in layman's terms, that's an automatic vacuum).
The NaviBot CornerClean maps out your home and devises the most efficient vacuuming plan and features two pop-out brushes that sweep up dust in tricky areas.
When the battery is low, NaviBot-CornerClean automatically takes a short route back to the docking station to recharge. Once recharged, the NaviBot returns to its last position and resumes cleaning.
Goji smart lock
Goji has developed a Smart Lock that could mark the end of metal keys. The idea is to use your mobile phone as a key, with the Smart Lock using camera technology to recognise who is attempting to enter a house.
You can also send friends or family a digital 'key' so they can gain access.
And the Smart Lock has a built-in camera to send homeowners 'real-time' picture alerts via text and email to tell them just who is activating their lock.
It also allows homeowners to operate the lock anywhere in the world.
Crock-Pot SmartSlow Cooker by Belkin
A crockpot or slow-cooker that can be controlled by smartphone
Belkin recently released this slow-cooker that can be remotely controlled by your smartphone.
This means you can adjust the cooker's settings from anywhere and get those lamb shanks started from the office.
Ohad Zeira, director of product management for WeMo, said it meant you could receive reminders, change cooking times, adjust temperatures or check up on if your meal is cooked while you are away.