In 2004 the Hollywood blockbuster I-Robot predicted that by 2015 humans would be served by slave robots, although we have missed that deadline we are inching closer to that Hollywood movie script than you may have imagined.
It seems that the well-known movie one liner declared by Sunny the robot, “My logic is undeniable” takes on some form of truth with the advancement of Smart Home Devices.
For some this notion of a technology run society is daunting and potentially threatening, however in recent years we have seen the tech market being flooded by Smart Home Device options to assist in daily home activities.
Don’t want to get up to turn on the tv? Is the aircon a few degrees too cold for you? Do you want to check who is knocking at the door without leaving your boiling pasta? Can’t remember what was on your shopping list? We have the solutions for you with the five most in demand home tech devices:
Starting with the most well-known of all home automation devices, Google Home. First introduced to the world in May 2016, this Wi-Fi speakers doubles as a personal assistant and smart home control center.
The sleek design includes a white capacitive touch display and LED lights when active and an interchangeable base (only $20US), available in seven colors and the metal or fabric finishes.
The touchless device has a speaker that can hear your music selection demands taken straight from Cloud and allows Google Assistant to talk to you.
The Google Home app will assist in the connection of your devices, allowing you to command the speaker to turn on the latest episode of Black Mirror or Netflix favorite without turning on the television.
Another favorite of users is ‘Ask Google’, whereby you are able to ask for the weather update, a cronut calorie count or determine the current human to robot ratio. The device can determine the difference between speech and noise, however unlike those cheeky i-robots, the mute button allows privacy in conversation between users.
As more competitors entered the market Google chose to expand its product offerings and in October 2017 announced two additions to the product lineup, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. Both of these new additions have Google assistant, smart home control, voice commands with the main point of difference being its size.
Some call this the original Google Home, the rivalry that first began in 2016 has continued with both product offerings being continuously reviewed and tested against each other.
Also in-built with a personal assistance service (Alexa), the device is able to set alarms, timers, determine the weather, answer questions, turn on the kettle (cup of tea not included) and other daily household activities.
Unlike Google Home, the news comes from a variety of online sources and the weather forecast is offered through AccuWeather.
An interesting addition to The Echo is it’s access to ‘skills’, which are the third-party developed voice experiences such as Uber and Pizza Delivery and these skills are being continuously increased to add to the user engagement and capability.
Not quite a personal family assistant but definitely a favorite amongst parents, the Canary device is a complete home security system that allows you to view your home remotely and if your eye isn’t on your home it will also alert you of any intrusions- perfect for those often out of their home!
The Big-Brother alike device has three primary components, a 147-degree wide camera with night vision to oversee your house surroundings, a siren to chase away unwanted thieves (and relatives) and a humidity and air quality monitor.
As society moves it’s focus towards healthy living, the Canary proves that it did not fail to adapt and has brought to its users ‘Homehealth Technology’. The additional sensor enables it to monitor air quality, temperature and humidity to determine if your home environment is classified as healthy and what improvements can be made or not.
Similar to Canary, this digital lock for your home uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and four A4 batteries to view visitors at your door with the ability to unlock the door to grant long-term access or limited access for specific days or hours even when you are not in the house through e-Keys.
The ability to lock and unlock your door allowing temporary access will reinvent housesitting and the meaning of neighborhood watch.
When a visitor approaches your door and rings the bell/ knocks on the door you will be sent an image of the individual and will ask to let them in, simply swipe yes or no without getting off the couch.
The most expensive and the newest of our five home automation devices, first released in early February this year with sales commencing in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The two main criticisms of the device, as with many Apple products is it’s limitation to connect to devices outside the Apple product range and the white stain left on wooden surfaces from the vibration-dampening silicon.
June last year saw the announcement from Apple of the Apple HomePod 2 for the early second half of 2018, yes close to six months since generation one was launched!
The main update that we will see with the launch of the HomePod 2 is facial recognition, similar to that of the I-phones, determining filters between that of a child user and an adult. The internet is saturated in unfavourable reviews to the HomePod so let’s hope that the next generation fills in the gaps that the first may have overlooked.