Nearly every aspect of life where technology has entered the domestic space (lightbulbs, dishwashers and so on) has seen the introduction of a smart home alternative:

  • Smart TVs connect to the internet to access content through applications, such as on-demand video and music. Some smart TVs also include voice or gesture recognition.
  • In addition to being able to be controlled remotely and customized, smart lighting systems, such as Hue from Philips Lighting Holding B.V., can detect when occupants are in the room and adjust lighting as needed. Smart Lightbulbs can also regulate themselves based on daylight availability.
  • Smart thermostats, such as Nest from Nest Labs Inc., come with integrated Wi-Fi, allowing users to schedule, monitor and remotely control home temperatures. These devices also learn homeowners’ behaviors and automatically modify settings to provide residents with maximum comfort and efficiency. Smart thermostats can also report energy use and remind users to change filters, among other things.
  • Using smart locks and garage-door openers, users can grant or deny access to visitors. Smart locks can also detect when residents are near and unlock the doors for them.
  • With smart security cameras, residents can monitor their homes when they are away or on vacation. Smart motion sensors are also able to identify the difference between residents, visitors, pets and burglars, and can notify authorities if suspicious behavior is detected.
  • Pet care can be automated with connected feeders. Houseplants and lawns can be watered by way of connected timers.
  • Kitchen appliances of all sorts are available, including smart coffee makers that can brew you a fresh cup as soon as your alarm goes off; smart refrigerators that keep track of expiration dates, make shopping lists or even create recipes based on ingredients currently on hand; slower cookers and toasters; and, in the laundry room, washing machines and dryers.
  • Household system monitors may, for example, sense an electric surge and turn off appliances or sense water failures or freezing pipes and turn off the water so there isn’t a flood in your basement.
  • Smart Video Door Bell that allows you to see and interact with your visitors onsite or offsite.