Smart gadgets


Just a couple of generations ago no self-respecting household would do without a cook and a maid. And a few years into the future we can expect a robot to run the home. Poor us, living in between times! Still, the good news is that the smart revolution has started and we can begin to pass our more tedious chores to a machine.

First you need a smart eco-system to bark your commands to. The Amazon Echo is widely considered the best on the market, with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit also front-runners. Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Hive and IFTTT aren’t far behind.

Household chores

Neato Botvac will take care of the floors, Winbot X will keep your windows sparkling and the Husqvarna Automower will ensure the garden is weekend-ready. There are machines to keep your indoor plants alive, and if your kids are as untidy as most, the Aeolus robot butler will tidy up and fetch your slippers.

Robot pets seem to be a way off, but at least your furry friends need never be hungry or bored if you’re home late from work. PetSafe and WoPet allow you to feed your pet remotely, give them treats and monitor what they are up to. You can even record messages for them.

Your personal shopper

Running low on Breaky Bottom? Truffle oil supplies hitting critical? It can be hard to remember what’s in your cupboards and nobody wants to find they’ve run out of vegetable crisps when the Joneses are popping round for nibbles. Smart fridges will track what you have and place the order to Ocado while you’re doing something more interesting.

Energy control

Your house can prepare for your return from work by switching the heating, lights and kettle on. Trust us, you’ll soon wonder how you ever coped without.

Even if you’re not too worried about the electricity bills we all want to protect the planet. And the bigger the house the bigger the energy use. Unless you get a smart system to switch things off for you, that is. Smart plugs like a Belkin Wemo or Elgato Eve Energy let you control your electrical devices via an app, as well as highlighting possible savings.


Who’s in your house? NetGear Arlo Q starts recording when it detects any object moving about and stores the hi-res footage in the cloud. Ring 2 and Nest Hello are video doorbells that let you see who’s on your doorstep, whether you’re in the bathroom or out for the day. Both have built in cameras and speakers which allow you to talk to the caller.

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