Computers and smartphones aren’t the only devices that today make use of Internet technology. Nowadays we can see that Wi-Fi-connected appliances, gadgets and other devices are becoming more and more common, as the power of the web is harnessed to help us with some of our mundane, everyday tasks. Our homes are becoming “smarter,” due to Wi-Fi connectivity which allows connection to the Internet. Even though the world of wireless gadgets is still in its infancy, the number of wireless home products is growing rapidly, with appliances and devices now that let you control lighting, thermostats and even cookers – from your smartphone! There are now tons of wireless products available via iOS or Android apps. You can pick and choose individual gadgets to suit your own needs, or choose an entire smart home system if you prefer! Here are some of our favourite smart wireless home products and gadgets.
Even the ubiquitous kettle has been given a technological makeover by Smarter, a British company which has created a wi-fi kettle called the “iKettle” which costs £99. This wi-fi kettle can can be controlled using your smartphone as these connected devices can access the internet, so users can check their status and control them remotely. The iKettle has built-in wi-fi so instead of having to get up and flick the kettle on, you can put the kettle on using your smartphone from the comfort of your sofa your phone, or even if you are on the way home from work and want a brew as soon as you get in!
The same company has also produced an £129 smart coffee machine that can wake you up with a morning coffee brewed to suit individual tastes, the machine can make the coffee then wake you up with an alarm sent to your phone when it’s ready! It will also communicate via your smartphone when it needs refilling and can offer to make a cup of coffee as soon as you enter the house. Some may find the extra convenience of wi-fi kettles and coffee machines useful, but there are also there are many that feel they are just using technology for the sake of it as making a cup of tea is hardly a major chore!
Recently Samsung, LG and Whirlpool announce new ranges of wifi-enabled washing machines at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. These Wifi connected washing machines can be monitored remotely and are promoted as saving customers money.
Going one step further, Hoover have created their Hoover Wizard Appliances range for a “Connected Kitchen”. This is a UK first, Hoover’s Wizard technology uses Wi-Fi connected kitchen appliances which are controlled via an app so have complete control you’re out and about. The idea has been around for a long time but in 2015 Hoover made this connected kitchen concept a reality! The Hoover Wizard range of appliances are all Wi-Fi enabled and consists of six appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, a hood, oven, fridge freezer and a hob) which Hoover are trying to sell as an entire range rather than replacing individual appliances. There are both freestanding and built-in appliance options available for most of the range and all of them are controlled via one app which allows you to control your appliances remotely. The app is surprisingly simple to use too, even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Again the connected kitchen concept could be criticised for not being quite as useful as promised, especially when many appliances such as washing machines are already programmable anyway.
Smart thermostats to control central heating promise to slash bills and energy use by offering precise control over your heating and hot water. Instead of simple on/off and temperature controls, smart thermostats allow you manage every aspect of your home’s heating via a smartphone or tablet remotely. Of course many thermostats have been offering programmed controls for many years, but with these wi-fi connected thermostats you can change the settings to suit changes in your schedule remotely. For example you may have the heating set to come on at 6pm when you normally get home, but if arriving earlier than usual you can kick the heating on on your way home so you arrive to a pleasantly warm home. The options for programming are usually much more intuitive and flexible too.