Voice-activated light switches, refrigerators that help you shop, and window glass that changes from opaque to clear (depending on what’s going on in the bathroom) are just some of the capabilities in today’s smart home.
While not a brand-new trend, smart home features are increasingly sought by millennials as they become a larger share of the home-buying/renovating consumer population. They are at ease connecting their smart phones with an Alexa-like voice control device to provide home security, control appliances, enhance their at-home sensory experience, organize their shopping, and cut down unnecessary natural resource use.
Here are just some of the smart home technologies for you to explore and consider using in your own home.
With this interactive device (developed by Microsoft Home), you control other appliances, scan the thickness of food, get tips on how long to cook items and even project patterns onto food to create platters that look as good as they taste. And since it attaches to the underside of your cabinet, it doesn’t take up any counter space while still improving how you cook, clean and even bake. For more check out the article on this exciting technology by Mike Elgan at Houzz
Refrigerators have changed a lot in the past few decades. What used to be a rather static feature of kitchens around the world has transformed into an interactive appliance that promotes organized family living. Check out the Samsung Smart Fridges here!
Smart fridges feature screens allow you to take notes, create grocery lists and even keep track of upcoming events. They come equipped with inside cameras to check what you might need from the store. Many models even have a smart assistant who can help you with ingredient swaps or measurement conversions.
Smart Trash Can
New smart trash cans and recycling bins reduce odors and optimize shopping your shopping trips. For example, trash can attachments, such as the Geni-Can will scan your products and add them to your phone shopping list to let you know what additional items to pick up at the store.
Recycling bins will soon be able to scan and sort your items into the appropriate category for proper disposal as well.
Smart Oven Hoods
With everything else in your kitchen going digital, it was only a matter of time before oven range hoods got in on the action. Instead of just circulating air and reducing odors, oven hoods will have a lot more functionality. These will include digital screens to bring all your favorite apps within reach and built-in/ live-stream cameras that allow you to monitor your cooking from any location. For more check out GE’s press release for the award-winning Kitchen Hub, a first of its kind, over the range interactive smart kitchen and ventilation system!
Bathrooms of the future are smarter, cleaner, and sleeker. The biggest smart home trends are integration with artificial intelligence (AI) that connect via your smart phone or reader. These have additional customization choices that can benefit our mental health and overall well-being. Here are some of the top tech options you can expect to see in bathrooms of the future.
Many smart toilets have features like seat warmers, touch-free automatic lids, night lights and even speakers for your favorite music. It’s today’s parallel to yesterday’s “private library”.
Smart toilets are more compact and better designed than traditional toilets, so they take up less space. Since they’re touch-free, they're also more hygienic and many are self-cleaning. Check out the Kohler line of “intelligent toilets here!
Interactive LED Mirror
An interactive LED mirror (or smart mirror) has a built-in display for things like time, traffic reports, weather forecasts, news updates, reminders and appointments. You can ask your mirror questions and control other smart devices in your home. (That’s in case you want to know how to make a cake while you’re brushing your teeth.) Check out the Gesipor Smart Mirror here!
Adjustable privacy glass allows you to change between transparency and opacity in your bathroom windows. The glass has a natural opaque look and provides total privacy, but it lets natural light pass through. You can change your glass from clear to frosted or set automatic controls using your smartphone or voice assistant.
Adjustable privacy glass can give your smart bathroom a clean modern feeling, plus add privacy, versatility, energy efficiency and more hygiene than traditional privacy options, such as curtains or traditional glass, and it’s easier to clean.
A smart shower allows you to set the water temperature, flow rate, shower time and more through your smart device. The main benefits of smart showers include consistent water temperature, more safety, remote control and water and energy savings. These showers even use a thermostat to keep a steady water temperature and prevent sudden changes. Check out the smart shower options from Moen here!
Chromatherapy lights are high-intensity LED lights you can control digitally (typically with a simple remote control) and change the setting you want such as romantic or relaxing. Most devices come with multiple color options, intensity and brightness settings. You can combine chromatherapy lights with aromatherapy, sound therapy, thermotherapy and hydrotherapy to create a relaxing spa experience right in your own bathroom.
If you’re looking for more ways to focus on your health, then a smart scale can make it easier to track your fitness and wellness goals. A smart scale not only measures and records your weight, but information such as body composition, body fat percentage, muscle mass, resting heart rate, water percentage and bone mass. Smart scales can track and store data and sync with other smart devices, like fitness trackers or smartphone apps, to ensure you reach your fitness goals. Check out the Withings Smart Scale here!
Smart Water Assistant
A smart water assistant is a water monitor that helps you save water and money and integrates with voice assistant or smart phone for easy control. Not only will it provide detailed insights into how you use water, but you’ll also get regular reports, so you're aware of your water usage. This tool also enables you to avoid leaks in your home. Plus, when a leak is detected, you’ll get an SMS or push notification to address it quickly. Check out the Moen Flo Smart system here!
Rethinking your kitchen and or bathroom space provides an opportunity to address issues of convenience and efficiency, controlled by smart devices, as well as entertainment and communication options. Call me to see how you can get the most out of these choices and “get smart” technology.
As Lyons-Archer Kitchen and Interior Design celebrates its 11th anniversary this year, I am proud to have created a design firm that offers a unique, curated kitchen design experience. I carry River Run stock cabinetry, Prodigy and Woodland semi-stock cabinetry, and Prevo custom cabinetry, so I can provide an individualized design, purchase and specification process for the discerning client.
Please contact me for other services, including bathroom and office design, space planning, couture draperies, window coverings and upholstery. I can be reached at email@example.com, or at 215-860-5059!
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