The truly smart home may be some way off yet, but individual technologies can already do a lot. Here’s a closer look:
1 Adjust your lights
Smart lightbulbs like those made by Philips and Lifx allow users to adjust the lighting in their homes using voice control or an app. These lights can also access your phone’s GPS signal to detect when you’re on your way home and illuminate the interior as you walk in the door.
2 Restock the pantry
Amazon’s Dash buttons allow you to order items like snacks and paper towels simply by pushing a plastic button. Some gadgets take this a step further: Brita, for example, offers a water pitcher that knows when the filter is about to expire and automatically orders a fresh one online.
3 Spy on your fridge
Samsung’s wi-fi-equipped refrigerator has a camera inside (see vid below) so that you can see what items you’re out of when you’re at the grocer, for instance.
4 Change your climate
Nest’s thermostat learns about your temperature preferences over time and automatically adjusts according to factors like the time of day.
5 Watch your back
Companies like Icontrol Networks and Nest sell Internet-connected security cameras that can send alerts and record video when motion is detected in your home. Some gadgets, like the Nest Cam Outdoor, can also tell the difference between people and animals to avoid false alarms.