8 top techs to smarten up your home

The consumer market is about to be hit by an avalanche of smart products. Raconteur reviews eight of the best already on sale

1. APPLE HOMEKIT

Apple HomeKit

This should probably top any tech leader board for most eagerly awaited launch. It’s tipped to revolutionise the home automation mass market. While Apple’s release date is a closely guarded secret, some product manufacturers have already claimed allegiance, therefore requiring MFi (made for iPhone) compatibility certificates. Expect it soon.

2. SAMSUNG SMART HOME

Samsung Smart Home

Apple’s rival. Lauded for being open to working with other providers, Smart Home offers device control, home view and customer service from your handset. The app-based proposition includes mobile devices, curved UHDTV and all cutting-edge audio visual accessories; the smart TV controls thermostat, laundry and robot vacuum cleaner.

3. IKEA HOME SMART

IKEA wirless charging

Quieting anyone claiming smart living to be unaffordable, IKEA will launch the UK’s first range of furniture with built-in wireless charging technology any day now. Answering the prayers of cable-phobes everywhere without needing to bring another gadget into the house, the range includes table and work lamps, bedside tables and charging pads.

4. BELKIN WEMO

Belkin Wemo

Taking an early step on the road to true interconnectivity, Belkin’s WeMo ecosystem allows you to connect systems on a modular basis. It now activates light bulbs, includes a motion detector, energy-saving switch and can engage a Crock-Pot slow cooker. WeMo Maker enables connection with any low-voltage device in the home.

5. AUGUST SMART LOCKS

August smart locks

Now fitted with constant internet access, August Smart Locks enable remote access to the home and integration with other smart technologies. As well as remotely checking whether your door is locked, you can “buzz in” guests and other visitors from wherever you are in your smart home.

6. MICROSOFT KINECT

Microsoft Kinect

Not yet the domain of smart living, but probably another next-generation development from the gaming world, Kinect currently uses motion sensors, following gestures, but voice activation may be in development. Beyond the gimmick of controlling your devices by waving your arms around, this presents an exciting opportunity for the mobility impaired.

7. CATFI

CatFi

Pitched as the world’s smartest cat feeder, CatFi uses cat facial recognition technology, allowing cat lovers to feed each of their pets individually and automatically while monitoring appetite, thirst and weight changes. The mobile app offers access to daily, weekly and monthly diet history.

8. PICOBREW ZYMATIC

Picobrew Zymatic

Hipsters can delight in anticipation as PicoBrew is not yet “smart”, but has been identified by researchers at Gartner as an example of the next generation of intelligent gadgets. The world’s first all-grain, automated beer-brewing appliance takes the microbrewery out of the shed and into the realm of domestic precision.