Homes of the future: The gizmos coming to our high-tech homes

Unfortunately, our homes aren’t going to be adorned with robots bringing us a drink as soon as we walk in from work. But, there’s no doubt about it, our household gizmos are becoming much more futuristic. We’ve already seen prototypes for a whole new range of gadgets, including smart fridges which help us decide what to eat and suggests recipes.

Here are a few more of the app-controlled gadgets we can expect to be able to buy now or in the not too distant future.

Nest’s app-controlled thermostat

Nest thermostat

The brainchild of iPod creator Tony Fadell, the Nest app-controlled thermostat is expected to launch later in 2013. Stylish and functional, the thermostat takes notes every time you turn the dial up or down. It then builds up information built around your temperature preferences. You can then control the thermostat by using a mobile app. It means you can save energy if you forgot to change the temperature before leaving the house. Or, better still, with temperatures plummeting outside, you can make sure your house is nice and warm before your arrive.

Belkin lighting systems

Belkin light (1)

Californian company Belkin showcased its latest innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It’s Belkin WeMo Light Switch has been added to the company’s existing Switch and Switch+ Motion products. You simply replace one or more of your regular light switches and then you can activate your lights remotely through a smartphone app. Using your home Wi-Fi, it can provide automatic scheduling or can trigger all or one of the lights in a home. So, if you want to make it look as if you’re at home, to deter burglars, it’s the perfect gizmo. It can also be used for ordinary power outlets. Belkin uses the example of having left your curling irons on. You’d be able to pull up the WeMo app to double check and to turn it off.

Lockitron’s locking app

Lockitron

As Lockitron says, you can “lock your door from anywhere in the world” with its gadget. You just put it onto your deadbolt and then your lock can be controlled by your smartphone. It lets you check if you’ve locked your door after you’ve left home. And, if you’ve perhaps got an older child coming home from school while you’re still at work, it gives you peace of mind that they’re back by sending you a notification when your youngster unlocks the door using either their phone or their key. The system is compatible with any smartphone because of the firm’s mobile website. But, it does work best with an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 because you can enable Lockitron to automatically sense when you walk up to the door and unlock it for you using Bluetooth 4.0.

The same firm has already come up with an addition to the popular system. DoorBot is a wireless and battery-powered front door camera and doorbell combination. As someone approaches your door and rings the doorbell, you’re notified on your smartphone or tablet with a message and a live video. You can even talk to the person through the speaker system that comes equipped with DoorBot. Then, if you’re using Lockitron, you can unlock the door for them.

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