We’re going to have a little fun this week. Every so often, we look at new products. Some of them look like great ideas who’s time has come. Some others are real head-scratchers. This was a very interesting year for new products in home automation. Some of the devices that we used to think of as science fiction are now ready to be deployed in your house, or they’re just around the corner. Let’s see what the inventors think you’re going to need or want in the coming years. Here are some of the devices that you can already buy, or will be able to get really soon.
Robots aren’t just for the Jetsons any more. The iRobot corporation is famous for their Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. They now offer robots that will wash your floors, clean your swimming pool or clean your gutters or your windows. Honda has now jumped into this market with the Miimo, which will do for your lawn what Roomba will do for your carpet. The Miiimo will keep your lawn neatly trimmed all summer. And it will never wander away, as a wire buried in the ground tells it to stop at the property line. The Robomow is also going be going after this market. In home security, the Agent 007 Robot patrol by Mobile Robots will announce “Police, Freeze” if an intruder opens a window. If you don’t have the need for security, you can use the same technology as a Jeeves Robot to fetch your beer at a party. Cat owners will be glad to hear that the Litter Robot will automatically clean a cat box and put everything you want to dispose of in a bag.
Apple veteran Tony Fadell is now actively promoting the Nest Thermostat. It claims to learn your habits over a period of several days, and then automatically adjust to them. It looks very cool, but a lot of people may find the $249 price tag hard to take. It isn’t the only learning thermostat on the market. Other companies are promoting similar product, especially with off-site iPhone control.
Really Controlling Your Power Consumption
The new Crestron GLS Power Meter, as a part of a whole home system, can give you a real-time analysis of your energy use and adjust the system accordingly. This award winning product makes the energy saving potential of home automation a reality.
This one is still at the prototype stage, but should hit the market very soon. As part of the near-field technology wave, it will communicate by Bluetooth with a nearby smart phone, allowing you to adjust brightness, set a timer or even change the colour, as the light is made up of an array of LED’s. Too new for pricing yet, but already invented and just about ready to go to market.
Wi-fi Washing Machines
Why not make your washing part of the whole home system? The Samsung WF457 is a wi-fi capable washing machine that will allow you to control it from a distance and send you messages when it’s done. No price on this one yet, but you can be sure there will be a premium for not running up and down the stairs to check on the laundry.
Transparent Television Sets
As part of a Smart Home, most people like a TV monitor in many rooms, buy may not like the look of them. Several manufacturers are showing transparent screens at CES this year. When they aren’t on, they look like a clear sheet of glass. Samsung is even imaging them as a replacement for windows, using mostly sunlight as a power source during the day.
Wall Art That Talks To Your Kids
Okay, now we’re getting really interesting. Got a picture of Mickey Mouse on your child’s bedroom wall? Ready to take it to a whole new dimension? How about Augmented Reality Wall Decals from RoomMates? They’re removable, reusable peel-and-stick wall decals your kids can play with. They can be removed without damaging the walls, and they can we wiped clean.
How does it work? Your kids will know, but here’s what you do. Download the BoostAR app from the iTunes store or Google Play and then point your phone or tablet up to the wall decal. The device will unlock and display interactive features and videos or games. There are six AR-enabled Disney wall decals to choose from and more on the way.
Automating For a Healthier Home
Believe it or not, there is now a self-disinfecting automated door handle. When the door handle isn’t in use, it is bathed in UV light that will kill everything up to and including flu viruses.
Want to know about the quality of the air in your home? The LULA Lung Lamp connects to the internet. It constantly monitors the air in your home, can be connected to an automation system and warns you of any potential health problems from the air in the house. As asthma rates have risen dramatically over the past few years, parents may be interested in this to protect their children’s well-being.
Who knows if any or all of these devices will catch on with the public. Sometimes the best ideas aren’t the ones that succeed. Here at OneTouch Home Automation, we keep on top of all the latest trends in technology. We’re always here to take your home automation to the next level.