When I get home from work, it’s often to a dark house. The lights are out, the blinds are open, and the place looks, quite frankly, abandoned – especially in the winter. It’s a surprise that no one’s tried to burgle the place yet. In the past I’ve borrowed plug timers from my parents, but I always find they’re such a hassle to set up. Plus, have you seen how bulky those things get?
I don’t want timers taking up so much space in my minimalist bedroom.
I also don’t want to be left in the past. Timers are so last century – I can’t even control them from my phone, so I’d need to – get this – bend down to turn them on. Who has time for that, when we should be fully submerged in the digital age? There are so many technologies that are on my wishlist that I think are essential for making a home truly modern. Not only is this because of how cool and fancy they are, but also from the incredible amounts of time they could help save us in the long-term.
Here are just three pieces of smart tech that are on my wishlist, and why they should also be on yours.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I love routines. They structure my entire life. Part of my weekend routine involves cleaning. I find this such a rewarding activity that I actually have an entire review of how three cleaning products changed my life, scheduled to come out in a couple weeks.
But, as you well know, I’m also a man who values productivity. I’m a man who values his time more than almost anything. And while I do enjoy cleaning, how much better would it be if the hoovering was done with as little input from me as possible?
This is why I’ve put a smart hoover on my wishlist. The only user input comes from flicking a switch; the hoover does the rest. It knows exactly where to go, where to turn, and what’s already been cleaned. You can find a better explanation of how smart hoovers work by clicking here.
Unfortunately, they’re still a little pricey at the moment – especially the likes of the Roomba, which usually dominates the smart hoover market. The model that I’ve linked to below, in case you are interested, has Wi-Fi and Alexa capabilities, though, which makes it oh-so tempting. Imagine being able to yell, ‘Alexa, clean the living room!’
£350 Roomba: https://amzn.to/2MRR3b7
The more affordable £79 Aiibot: https://amzn.to/2UmLd5I
During my second year of University, my housemate owned Phillips Hue smart bulbs. He could control them by his phone and Alexa, and I was fascinated. While an alarm clock disturbed my slumber, he’d be woken by colour-changing bulbs, slowly brightening across a half hour.
They are, unfortunately, still ridiculously expensive. A starter pack, with three bulbs, runs a whopping £52.99 at the time of writing, which was way more than my student budget could handle.
Enter smart plugs.
These are plugged into the mains, with your device plugged into them – in the same way you’d plug your charging block into a European socket adapter. You then connect the plugs to your Wi-Fi network and will then have control of them, via a smart speaker or app, from all over the world. The next time you’re walking home from work in the dark, remotely pop on your lamps and stop worrying about an empty house.
I’ll mainly use them to make my lamps smart, since I’d rather lots of little light sources to add a little character to my room, than one big light, but they have many more purposes. Unlike the Phillips Hue, any device works with a smart plug. I’ll plug in my fairy lights and fan, but others have put them to use with electric blankets, to make coffee and power down their Home Cinema setup.
If you want to support my blog and are interested in the smart plugs that I’ll be picking up, you can find my Amazon Affiliates link here: https://amzn.to/3h62bPn
I moved to write this section thinking that it would, for sure, be the least smart piece of tech on the list. All I initially wanted was to buy a kettle that has temperature control. This might not be important for some, but as a lover of coffee made in a French Press, which asks for warm, but not boiling, water, this is a must.
Then I did some research and I found – I kid you not – a smart kettle. It connects to your Wi-Fi and, like the smart vacuum and plugs, offers Alexa and in-app control. Within the app, you can set up timers, too, so feel free to pour water in the night before and have your kettle boil enough for a cup of coffee when you wake at 7am each morning. The only extra I could really ask for is a system that pumps water into the pot without my input, but that might be asking for too much.
I’ve only ever owned cheap, £20 kettles, which have been fine but usually break after around 3 years. The smart kettle that I’ve linked below, on the other hand, is a much steeper £99. However, if it’s long-lasting and provides the functionality that I’m craving, I think it’s a worthy investment.
Smarter’s iKettle: https://amzn.to/2MFZtlz
To read more about how Amazon affiliate links work, click here.