It wasn’t so long ago that we were impressed by the addition of a pixelated snake we could maneuver around the screens of our old mobile phones. These devices quickly made the leap to “smartphones,” and every other appliance you use is set to either follow in their footsteps or be forgotten about, like that old snake game.
These smart devices will all be connected via the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning they can communicate, anticipate your needs, and generally make life smoother than ever before. Whether you see this tech-fueled future as utopian or dystopian, it’s worth gaining an understanding of what you’ll be stepping into. With that in mind, here are five of the most amazing ways smart appliances are set to revolutionize your home:
1. Stovetops that cook for you
Induction stovetops have been around for some time, and they’re already an intelligent step up from the old electric and gas hobs. However, they’re set to get even smarter over the coming years. Using wi-fi or Bluetooth combined with sensing probes and specially designed induction cookware, you can set recipes on your smartphone and have it control the oven and stovetop, ensuring you never burn or undercook dinner again, even if you get distracted.
2. A step up from voice activation
If you thought yelling commands at Alexa or your Google Assistant was futuristic, If That, Then This (IFTTT) technology is going to feel downright surreal. Rather than having to ask voice-activated tech to turn on the lights when you come through the door, your digital assistant can be programmed to know that “if the door opens, then the lights should be turned on.”
You can program a whole host of actions, meaning if you have a house full of IoT appliances, you’ll be able to glide through it silently as they anticipate your needs and fulfill your commands.
3. Smart vacuums
Robotic vacuums have been around for some time, and they’re evolving at a rapid pace. Different companies are taking them in different directions. However, there seems to be agreement that, over the coming years, they will switch from plastic parts to renewable and recyclable components.
You can have a little robot vacuum cleaner follow the kids around the house, cleaning up the dirt they track in the moment it hits the floor. There’s even a ball-shaped design in development for large public spaces like airports. You’ll be allowed to kick the robot away if it gets too close, and when it gets full, it will empty itself in a designated area and then take a break in its charging station.
4. Intelligent refrigerators
Gone are the days when you end up buying too many eggs but not enough milk because you couldn’t remember what you had in your fridge. Modern smart fridges come with wide-angle cameras, meaning you can check the contents from wherever you happen to be (so long as you have your smartphone on you).
The refrigerators adjust the temperature themselves and can keep sections cooled to different degrees, striking the perfect balance between being cost-effective and keeping your food at the ideal temperature.
5. Temperature control
Speaking of temperature, you can expect more energy savings from the air conditioners of the future. These devices will be able to sense your presence and absence and will adjust themselves accordingly, creating the ideal ambient environment for the circumstances in the house.
Whether you find these developments daunting or inspiring, there’s no denying they will streamline our lives over the coming years.