As the Internet becomes ubiquitous, more objects are becoming embedded with sensors and gaining the ability to communicate.
This trend is ever more apparent in the home and there are a variety of devices designed to control and monitor your digital devices via the web.
Collectively termed "The Internet of Things (IoT)" this blog post explores just what devices are out there on the web today, pertinent for control in the home.
We are living in the future. It is now entirely possible to control our entire homes remotely from another country, including turning on and off lights, heating, and even the sprinkler in our gardens without actually being there. We can get real time alerts when someone breaks into our home, when we forget to turn the heating off and even when certain foodstuff is running low.
All of these Internet enabled realisations have given rise to more and more devices that can use the web to operate smarter, and allow us to kickback and enjoy relaxing in our home knowing a little box in the corner is helping take care of the day to day running of the household.
Let's take a look at just what is out there:
Hubs provided a central location to direct the entire home automation experience, as well as monitor and control multiple devices on the network. They should be the first item to consider when planning your home automation.
BUY IT HERE: Smartthings Hub
The SmartThings Hub and family of devices offer everything you need to start experiencing a safer, smarter home.
BUY IT HERE: Revolv
Finally, one simple solution to unify all your brand name "smart home" and lifestyle devices. It's a single automated experience worth getting giddy over! Revolv is capable of automating virtually all your smart home devices regardless of brand.
Whether on vacation, planning a date night, or just hanging out on the couch, the 'Home' dashboard gives you a birds-eye view of all the devices in your home. With a quick glance, see your home's current status, recent device activity, and access all your favourite On-Demand Actions.
BUY IT HERE: Spotter
Spotter is a white disc packed with sensors that measure temperature, humidity, light, sound, and motion (motion isn't detected, but rather has to be felt physically through an accelerometer).
Install it permanently anywhere, or use magnets or stickies to transfer it around the home at whim.
Once Spotter is set up, the app companion lets users dial between actions and create actions and alarms. Want to know when the back door opens, when the temperature gets below 65 degrees, or when the washing machine has stopped churning? Spotter will send you a push notification
BUY IT HERE: NinjaSphere
Ninja Sphere is an all-white object that could almost pass for a modern piece of sculpture.
With features like LED lights and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the gadget lets you keep tabs on the things - and pets - in your home. Place a Bluetooth tag on your cat and the Ninja Sphere will track its travels. It can also alert you when smaller valuable objects, such as a jewellery box or computer, are being moved. It also knows if you've left lights or a heater on, and turn them back off via your smartphone.
BUY IT HERE: Sonos
Sonos is a system of HiFi wireless speakers and audio components. It unites your digital music collection in one app that you control from any device. Play what you want in every room over a dedicated wireless network.
Sonos wireless speakers are custom designed for every space in your home. From the compact PLAY:1 to the TV-compatible PLAYBAR, our line-up fills any room with crystal clear HiFi sound at any volume
Set up Sonos with the push of a button. Our unique technology brings your entire home audio system together on a dedicated wireless network. The end result? Unrivaled performance and zero drop-outs
The Sonos Controller App lets you browse and play your music from any device. Use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to stream different songs in each room, group rooms together, or hear the same beat everywhere.
BUY IT HERE: Awox
AwoX StriimLIGHT ™ is an energy-saving LED light-bulb with an integrated Bluetooth® speaker. Just place it in any standard electrical lamp and use the "Play to" feature on your Bluetooth® -enabled music player to hear music wherever you want.
Listen to all the music you love, no matter where it lives - think iTunes, podcasts, radio stations, Spotify, Pandora, etc. With streaming music services, use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to control apps from the cloud.
BUY IT HERE: Egg Minder
Egg Minder wirelessly connects to your mobile device to track the number of eggs you have and tell you when they're going bad. In-tray LED lights indicate the oldest egg, while push notifications alert you when you're running low. Check Egg Minder while at the store; you'll never be in a scramble for a good egg again. It syncs with your smartphone to tell you how many eggs you've got at home (up to 14) and when they're going bad.
BUY IT HERE: Elertus
The Elertus Wine Protection System is intended to be a simple solution to avoiding a literally distasteful (and expensive) surprise. It consists of a battery-powered wireless sensor that hooks into a home's Wi-Fi network. Installed in the cellar or cabinet, it monitors temperature and humidity conditions and transmits the readings to a smartphone app. Using the app, the wine enthusiast can keep an eye on storage conditions, and the system also sends alerts when preset temperature and humidity levels are reached.
BUY IT HERE: Wifiplug
Turn your electronic devices on or off from anywhere in the World! A lamp, a fan, a heater, boiler, hair straighteners, stereo, you name it, If you can plug it in, you can control it from your smartphone device.
WiFi Plug Socket allows you to switch electronics ON/OFF remotely. Put your devices on a 7 day schedule saving time and money whilst conserving energy.
WiFi Plug uses your home Wi-Fi network, and also operates over mobile internet-so you can control appliances while you're away. You don't need anything else, WiFi Plug is ready to go straight out of the box, with the new 'One Click' set up.
BUY IT HERE: Garageio
Garageio is the simple and secure way to control and monitor your garage door from anywhere in the world, without replacing your existing garage door opener. No more turning around to make sure your garage door is closed. No more leaving your garage door open all night long. Give access to your close friends and family and see who is accessing your garage and when.
BUY IT HERE: Skybell
SkyBell is a WiFi doorbell that allows you to see, hear and speak to the person at your door no matter where you are or what you're doing.The little metal roundel is a straight swap out for your regular old 20th century doorbell and provides a CCTV camera, motion detector, microphone and speaker to link to your SmartPhone via your homes Wi-Fi.
BUY IT HERE: Fibaro flood sensor
Fibaro Flood Sensor is simply remarkable! This unique device can guard you and your family’s safety. With its advanced technology and precision, the Fibaro Flood Sensor will alert you of a threatening flood, or a rapid temperature rise or drop. All while being maintenance-free without the need for professional installation. In case of an alarm, immediate information about the flood goes to your phone and tablet.
BUY IT HERE: Rach
It automatically changes your watering program based on a variety of variables which include weather, soil type, plant type, shade, slope and more. Replace your old controller with ours and then connect it to your WiFi using the Rachio smart phone app.
BUY IT HERE: Canary
Canary's HD video camera and safety sensors track everything from motion, temperature and air quality to vibration, sound, and activity to help keep you, your family and your belongings safe.
Controlled entirely from your iPhone or Android device, Canary alerts you when it senses anything out of the ordinary — from sudden temperature changes that can indicate a fire, to the sound and movement that could mean an intrusion. Instantly receive, view and act on the alerts wherever you are.
Over time, Canary learns your home's rhythms to send you smarter alerts. Canary is the smartest way to stay secure.
BUY IT HERE: Yale DeadBolt
With a sleek capacitive touchscreen, the Yale Real Living™ deadbolt brings 'cellphone chic' to residential home security.
Available with either Z-Wave® or Zigbee®, Yale Real Living integrates seamlessly into a wide range of home control and security systems, making everyday living easier and safer.
BUY IT HERE: TripleShield
Oplink's TripleShield™ wireless security, monitoring, and surveillance solution is the first plug-and-play home security platform that you can quickly and easily install yourself. TripleShield seamlessly integrates multi-location video surveillance and event recording, intrusion alarms, real-time simultaneous alerts, and alarm management, all through a broadband or cellular network.
The entire solution is controlled through an easy-to-use smartphone app, giving you complete, convenient control. TripleShield allows for multiple user access, so you can authorize family, friends, and emergency contacts to receive alerts and/or manage your system no matter where you are
BUY IT HERE: Piper
Piper keeps your place secure, gives you a panoramic view of your home and makes it smarter. It's the first home security and automation device that combines panoramic video, Z-Wave home automation, and environmental sensors into a single elegant product that you interact with on your smartphone or tablet.
Piper will send you alerts and notifications as well as allow you interact with it from anywhere in the world from an app on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. At the heart of Piper's security and monitoring system is its panoramic HD video camera. From a mobile device, users can pan and zoom around from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, or switch to quad view to watch four different areas of a room at once.
BUY IT HERE: Goji Smart Lock
The Goji Smart Lock system uses buetooth to operate from your smartphone and it's built in camera sends you a picture of who's at your door.
You can send electronic keys to friends with a text or an email, and you can set up the access to be unlimited or to include specific date/day and time parameters.
The Goji Smart Lock presents a contemporary new look for a deadbolt lock: a sleek, modern disc in brushed metal with a subtle blue-text LED display that welcomes users by name when the lock is activated.
BUY IT HERE: Kwikset
Keep your phone in your pocket or purse. No more fumbling for your keys... just touch the lock to open for the ultimate in convenience. At a price of $219, you aren't necessarily paying for a more secure lock, but you're definitely paying for a more convenient one.
The free app is used for initial setup, sending, disabling and deleting Electronic Keys (eKeys), viewing history of lock activity, and setting up other configurable features and options. The Kevo App runs in the background on your device so there is no need to open the app to enter your home.
BUY IT HERE: Hue
When it comes to wireless lights, hue is about as smart as it gets. And smart lights need a smart controller. So we created a hue smart phone app. You can't get much smarter than that.
To get started, just download the free app to your smart phone or tablet. The first time it opens it'll search for your bridge and connect to the lights. Once that's done, you can use the app to control your wireless bulbs.
BUY IT HERE: WeMo Insight Switch
The Belkin WeMo Light Switch is a home automation solution for budding DIYers. The installation is fairly painless and the corresponding app is compatible with both Android and iOS. That way, you can control your lights from anywhere you have an Internet connection. With the Belkin WeMo Light Switch, you can set custom lighting schedules and even design one-of-a-kind home automations
The Wi-Fi enabled WeMo Insight Switch connects your home appliances and electronic devices to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to turn devices on or off, program customized notifications, and change device status--from anywhere.
BUY IT HERE: Smartlighting Wifi
Savant's Wi-Fi 802.11-based lighting control solution is a complete IP lighting system and dimmer designed into one keypad, delivering a versatile solution that can be used as both a standalone lighting control platform or as part of a complete Savant automation system.
The Savant SmartLighting Wi-Fi keypads are controlled from your iOS iPhone / iPad and will also deliver real-time energy usage figures.
BUY IT HERE: Hive
When it's cold, wet and soggy, switch the heating on at home using your phone, tablet or laptop. And if you have a hot water tank, you can even turn your hot water on too.
Only £199 for the full kit including professional installation. One-off payment and there's no need to switch your energy supplier.
For only £199 your Hive Active Heating™ includes:
BUY IT HERE: Nest
Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it. So the Nest Learning Thermostat learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone.
Teach it well and the Nest Thermostat can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%.
BUY IT HERE: Tado
The two elements of the system are the tado box and the free iPhone / Android app. The box connects to your heating system, replacing your existing wall thermostat or it can be directly attached to your boiler. From there it communicates with your smartphone using your home's Internet connection.