Think smart technology for your home

Many of the best products are in the area of home security

Ring video doorbell lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone Ring video doorbell lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone

Ring video doorbell lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone Ring video doorbell lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone

 

I love new technology and anything that makes life easier or more convenient. There are a lot of new technologies for the home worth considering if you are planning a refurbishment project.

Many of the best products are in the area of home security and you can now get a pretty high-tech system without spending a fortune. Wireless alarm systems that send you updates via text message are a great alternative to traditional wired systems. The Piper camera is a 180 degree HD camera that gives you access to live footage anytime through an app on your smartphone. It sends you updates when rooms are entered and can connect to other smart devices like lights and alarms. Novi is a similar portable system which looks a lot like a smoke detector that you can move from room to room. It’s equipped with a HD camera and night vision and is compatible with IOS and android devices.

Have you ever come home to find one of those cards from the post office saying they called but you weren’t in to receive a package? Well there’s a new door bell in the market that will put an end to your having to visit the post office to collect your packages. The Ring video doorbell lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require any professional assistance and can connect to existing doorbell wiring. The built-in two-way speaker lets you talk to whoever rings at your door.. It’s a great alternative to an intercom system, super easy to install and really inexpensive.

With so many companies making different devices, you can end up having multiple apps to operate them all, which can make things complicated. Samsung has a solution. You can link all of your devices to the Samsung SmartThings hub allowing you to control all of them from one app. The device will work with gadgets from other manufacturers and Samsung also have a range of their own devices such as room sensors that know when you’ve left a room and switch off the lights.

Smart heating systems are somethingI encourage all of our clients to install when they are renovating or extending. The are a number of varieties on the market, the best known probably being Nest. These systems will turn down the heat when no one is home and help you maintain energy saving temperatures.

And probably my favourite comes from a company called Sonte that have created a wifi enabled film to put on windows that changes them from clear to opaque by using an app on your smartphone. The film can be retrofitted, it’s cut to measure and fitted as you would any other kind of window film. I’ve never been a fan of frosted glass as not only does it block your view but it also obscures light but it is necessary in certain situations such as bathrooms. This is a great solution that gives you the best of both worlds.

Denise O’Connor is an architect and design consultant