Thanks to the wizardry of technology, life at home can now be much more comfortable. Nowadays you can control your lights with a voice command, turn your heating on and off with an app and listen to the same music in various rooms. Hannah takes a look at some of the simple tech improvements you can make to your home.
Hue taps into the way we love to build our lives around routine. Generally, we get up at the same time, return from work at the same time and need our lights on and off at the same time. And Hue lights can be timed to slowly fade up in the morning, just before your alarm goes off or light up as your arriving home from work. You can also set Scenes, so “Morning Lights” could turn all the downstairs lights on to a bright daylight tone, whereas “Evening Lights” could set lounge lights to a warm, lower shade. Plus, you can control it all from an app on your phone.
Apple TV is just one of the many media streaming devices on the market, along with Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, Roku 4, Nvidia Shield... the list could go on! As with all Apple products, the design is flawless, which means it is very simple to use and Siri can do everything from telling you the weather to answering questions about cast members in the film you are watching. The fourth generation of Apple TV is built around apps, so you can scroll through the usual things like BBC iPlayer, NOW TV and Netflix whilst also accessing things like music, games and even shopping apps. And, it’s worth noting, that the screensavers are totally stunning.
Hive Active Heating
With Hive you can manage the heating of your house and hot water wherever you are. Regardless of whether you are with British Gas, an engineer will install the Hive Active Heating box, which is a lovely, sleek box a million miles away from the clunky old thermostats we are used to. Due to the ease with which you can turn your heating on and off (thanks to a handy app) these thermostats also save you a lot of money because you never heat an empty house. You can set schedules and unset schedules as much as you want, and geolocation means Hive will remind you to turn the heating off when you move away from the house.
With the tag line “know more, worry less”, Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. It syncs with your phone and sends notifications when there’s an issue or if the alarm’s batteries are low. The sensor can identify whether a fire is fast or slow burning and it can tell you where smoke and carbon monoxide are coming from. And the best news is, the days of waving a tea towel at a smoke alarm after burning the toast are well and truly over, as you can just switch Nest off on your phone. Perfect.
Ever had that annoying moment when – after spending ages crafting the perfect playlist – you realise you have to go into another room and you can’t even hear the music? Yes, me too. Anyway, thanks to Sonos you can now listen to the same music all over the house. The speaker system can be controlled by an app, which means you can stream music directly to one room, or to every room should you choose. There are a variety of speakers available, so you can go large or just add a little one to the kitchen. And if you want to get fancy with sound, multiple speakers can be placed together and there is a SUB for additional bass.