Starting to hear more about how smart homes are the way of the future? We spoke to Ideal Home tech editor and author of Girl About Tech, Amy Cutmore to get an expert opinion on how futurism is hitting our home, now.
Which room in the home do you think benefits the most from technology?
The kitchen. Since the 1950s, appliances have revolutionised our lives in so many ways. Washing machines, dishwasher and other labour-saving gadgets have freed women from the drudgery of daily housework so that they can pursue their own careers. The invention of the fridge, freezer, microwave, steam oven, etc, have completely changed the way we cook.
I think this will continue to be the case as appliances get smarter. Take the new induction hobs that will make it impossible to burn food, or the extractors that ‘talk’ to our hobs so they are always running at the appropriate rate, and shut themselves off after we’ve finished cooking and all the cooking fumes and odours have been cleared. The revolution continues!
What do you think makes a great smart bedroom? How can one benefit your standard of living?
I’m planning to get myself some smart blinds that open automatically just before my alarm goes off. And I do love smart lighting for a bedroom – I have set up my Hue system so that the lights go off when I should be asleep, which I’m sure my mum would have loved to have been able to do when I was a kid! And of course you don’t have to remember to turn the ‘big light’ off before you get into bed!
What’s one piece of tech in your home that you couldn’t live without and why is it so important to you and your space?
Ooh, that’s a real toughie! If we’re talking AT HOME and therefore ruling out portable tech like my smartphone or iPad, it’s probably a tie between my multi-room music system and my dishwasher.
I’m a big music fan and the whole multi-room speaker revolution has really changed my life – I can bumble from one room to the next and have my favourite songs follow me, and it’s great fun when I have people over. In the old days, I would have to spend hours the next day putting CDs back in their right cases, but not any more!
Then again, the dishwasher has stopped my husband and I from arguing over the washing up, and there’s a lot to be said for a harmonious home!
What do you think should be the key pieces in a smart bathroom?
There is SOOOO much smart bathroom tech out there at the moment, but my favourites are the self-cleaning loo (or a self-cleaning loo brush) and stress free baths that open the plug automatically when the water reaches a certain level, so you’ll never flood your bathroom! And I’m always impressed with a waterproof speaker.
What piece of tech would you like to be invented and in your house by 2050?
I would like someone to invent a wardrobe that, if you pop any dirty clothes in, it will wash and press them and then organise them into sections like ‘summer dresses’ or ‘business suits’. Ideally, you should be able to ‘tell it’ what you’re doing the next day, and it will select your outfit for you. LG’s Styler is a similar concept, but this would be taking it to the next level.
Is there anything in your home that you refuse to introduce technology to and think should never be modernised?
While I’m all for the convenience of music downloads, I’ve still got a soft spot for CDs and vinyl. I nearly ditched my own tottering towers of discs a few years back to save space, but I’m glad I held on them – there’s a lot to be said for their superior sound quality and those obscure B-sides you won’t find on iTunes.
What tech accessories for the home do you think we’ll be hearing a lot about, but may ultimately be looked back on as a gimmick?
Possibly Virtual Reality headsets. I’m still in two minds about them, or should that be two realities?!
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