Creating a smart-home network previously meant planning for it when you built or renovated and then installing CBus, but now you can retrofit to create a wireless network linking to a simple, small unit anyone can find space for. The Push and Nero systems work beautifully to allow you to automate your home and create different moods with lighting and music at the push of a button.
Home appliances, too, have become smarter. The LG signature range elevates your most familiar home appliances into the space age. A washing machine that tells you it needs more detergent, has the washing dried for the moment you get home to prevent creasing, and the ability to tell you how much energy it’s using is incredible. A refrigerator that can show you how much milk you have without opening the door, thereby saving energy, that can be opened by a swipe of your foot, and closes its own doors is now a reality.
And imagine knowing that the air you and your family breathe is the purest it can be, free of pathogens and allergens.
Technology has created advances in all kinds of home products. Hybrid flooring technology is precisely what its name implies – a blend of the durability of man-made products, such as laminate and vinyl plank flooring, but with a look and feel closely replicating timber.
This product gets truly interesting when you realise the freedom it gives you in application.
The same beautiful timber-look floor you have in your lounge room can be used in the bathroom, creating a seamless look that gives the impression of a larger space.
You can also make your home safer by simply plugging in a system such as Arlo, a wireless security camera system that networks with your home Wi-Fi, allowing you to place cameras anywhere you require them – from your baby’s bedroom to the backyard, the garage, any dark spots or the front door.
The cameras have day and night vision and, with motion sensors, there is a bank of video capturing everything that is going on. This can even be useful for capturing the goings on of rogue pets.
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Putting an Arlo camera at your front door can act like home security and an intercom in one. With a speaker and microphone built in, you can have a chat with the courier and tell him where to leave your package.
Team up your cameras with a keypad door lock and you can open the door for them, or give them a unique password that lasts as long as you want it to, from a minute to days, weeks or months. You can also have different codes for different people. If your home is accessed without your authorisation, you can check whose code was used and cross reference that with video footage for a neat package ready to deliver to law enforcement.
Home AV is an obvious place to look for ever advancing home technology. NBN is arriving just in time to cope with the greater load demands due to video and audio streaming services. Televisions that play 4K video straight from YouTube or Netflix use plenty of bandwidth, but the quality is astounding. The LG Signature OLED wallpaper TV, for example, looks as though you can reach right into its screen, even though it is only as thick on the wall as a $2 coin. Search the web through television and screen share from your mobile, making integration across home entertainment simple.
Sonos, too, is a hugely useful advance in audio technology – from the simple, networked devices that allow you to play different music at different volumes in different areas and also create the perfect surround-sound cinema.
Tech is best when it adds to your lifestyle, mood, aesthetic appeal and amenity – and there is always something new to discover.
Extract from HomeSpace by Darren Palmer (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)