We live in an age of technology, where innovation and creativity are bringing us some of the most advanced, must-have gadgets we have ever seen. Every few months a new, smart gadget seems to take over our social media feeds, promising life changing efficiencies.
Although we’re lucky to see so many new devices and apps being designed in our time, it’s getting harder to know which ones are actually worth the money. There’s no denying that a lot of these intelligent applianced, gadgets and apps can make things a lot easier for us, but which ones are actually worth investing in?
Well, this is something I thought I’d look into, as I know how frustrating it can be reading countless reviews and spending hours on research to be left even more confused than when you started. Focusing on smart appliances and apps for your home, I thought I would share with you some of my personal favourites.
You may have seen adverts for these recently with a family in the kitchen all enjoying the benefits of their smart fridge. What's the technology involved and what do they add that your existing fridge does not already have?
Smart fridges are indeed wonderfully useful things. The two standout smart fridges that are worth looking into are; the Family Hub Samsung American style fridge freezer and the LG SIGNATURE InstaView Door-in-Door™ Refrigerator. Both of these are jam-packed with incredible features guaranteed to make your life easier:
Door-in-Door screen which allows you to see what’s inside without opening the door.
Custom Chill Pantry – Get the temperature perfect with this feature.
Fresh Air Filter – Keeps the fridge smelling clean and your groceries lasting longer.
Entertainment – Sync up your phones and tablets and stream your favourite music or TV shows.
Family Connection – Integrate family members’ schedules, share photos and send messages from your refrigerator to your family’s phones.
Stylish Design – Modern, contemporary designs add a new and exciting design feature to the kitchen.
Designed to perfectly combine smooth, sleek design with highly intelligent technology, these powerful appliances are sure to be the future of all kitchens one day.
The Samsung Family Hub
The Samsung Family Hub
Lighting is a huge part of interior design; an amazing decor will be wasted if the lighting has been overlooked. As this is the case, you might want to invest in smart light bulbs.
If you are unsure which ones then the Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit is a great place to start. Providing 16 million different colour options, these bulbs can offer any type of mood lighting for any type of room.
Easily controlled via an app and available to be used with Google Home, these bulbs provide you with the ability to constantly change the style of your home all through the touch of a few buttons on your tablet or smartphone.
Philips Hue White & Colour Ambiance GU10 Starter Kit
As this winter has been particularly freezing you might be thinking of investing in a new home heating appliance. If you are, then both Hive and Mill Heat have wonderful apps that make heating your home so much easier.
The apps themselves are very user friendly and boast crystal clear information. The ability of being able to control the heating before you get home is something that once experienced, you’ll never know how you lived without it.
Norwegian heating brand, Mill, has launched in the UK bringing its ‘Keep warm with style’ ethos and Scandi-inspired minimalistic designs to the electric heating sector. Formed in 1992 by Cato Bryn, the brand is available in the largest retailers across the Nordic countries and now, in its 25th year, it will initially offer four sleek, electric products to UK consumers.
The heaters themselves look great too as they are designed to seamlessly fit into any home. Practical and stylish, this new heating technology is revolutionising how homes are heated.
With the Millheat App you can switch between houses using the same user the whole time. You don't have to log on and off with a different user, making it very versatile and convenient.
It works a treat with holiday homes too, where you may not wish to have the heat on continuously but want to make sure that anyone visiting finds the home comfortably warm!
Mill Heat stand alone and panel heaters with wi-fi, available here.
Helpful family appliances
If you have children then you know how hard it can be to keep them entertained and engaged for long periods of time. Well, the good news is that there are some new apps and appliances out there that can really help with this.
The first is the Google Home and Google Home Mini. This fantastic device is as powerful as it is stylish and boasts unrivalled intelligence. Activities with the kids have never been easier or more enjoyable with the help from this smart speaker.
Google Home Mini, photo: Google
Google Home, photo: Google
You can now get them to enjoy mundane tasks, like washing up and cleaning, by getting the Google Home involved. Play some music, ask it for cooking advice and even let it help plan your day, this is something that we can all use and enjoy.
Another great family friendly item (if you have a dog) is the Furbo. It is a highly intelligent dog camera which lets you see what your dog is doing while you aren’t there. Not only this, but it also includes a microphone and speaker which means you can actually talk to your dog, and get an alert if it barks.
Think of it as an item to help your dog when it’s alone, not something that you should rely on for long periods of time, but perfect for when you are at work or school.
The final device for your family home is the IQ Nest. This incredibly advanced security camera has been designed for style and safety. It comes with an array of features, from face recognition to night visibility.
This device can provide the highest level of security, helping to keep your family and home safe without having to invest in lots of CCTV equipment.
Make everything easier
The final smart appliance I thought I would mention is the always useful Elgato Eve Energy. This is simply a plug that you can input any other plug into, such as a kettle or light, and then control it remotely.
Easy to set up and fabulously valuable, this delightful little item will save you time and money as it can actually calculate the cost of powering that appliance too
It’s time to embrace the technology, what it can do for us and see how much time and money these wonderful products can save us. A smart home is often a stress-free home, and I think it’s fair to say that we could all benefit from a little less stress.