SMART HOME DEVICE
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FROM fridges that live-stream your groceries, to doorbells that monitor your yard for intruders and dodgy mail deliveries, Australian homes are getting smarter.
Everyday whitegoods are the latest devices to add cameras, internet connections and artificial intelligence.
Experts say these devices will become smart enough to cook your dinner for you, or let you know when your milk is off, and will be automatically monitored for faults and recalls.
While plenty of people mocked the first smart fridge released in Australia for $17,000 in 2004, the technology has come a long way.
Samsung recently launched new smart fridges with 21-inch touchscreens that could warn you when your food is about to expire, let you place a Woolworths order from its door, and even snap and send “shelfies” to your phone while you’re in the supermarket.
Home appliances product head Mike Lilly said Samsung launched the second-generation Family Hub smart fridges to “meet demand for this form of technology” from Australians.
“Right now the Family Hub 2.0 provides you the ability to synch your compatible home appliances, including your compatible washing machine or robotic vacuum, and control them from your fridge door,” Mr Lilly said.
Samsung isn’t the only company adding internet connectivity.
LG’s latest combined washer and dryer connects to wi-fi to let users order their clothes to be washed while they’re still out of the home.
Philips added new products to its Hue smart lighting range last week, allowing White Ambience bulbs to turn on automatically, while Ring delivered its second smart doorbell that livestreams video from your front door, and a floodlight that films what it illuminates.
Google-owned Nest Labs also launched a range of smart products in Australia, from a smart smoke detector to an internet-connected outdoor security camera.
T e l s y t e managing director Foad Fadaghi said smart products were on the rise in Australia, but their use would skyrocket over the next four years as prices fell.
“Smart appliances are typically priced between 30 to 100 per cent more than standard products now,” he said.
“Our research shows that most consumers are only comfortable paying 10 per cent more than non-smart products. There needs to be greater scale in their production to bring the prices down.”
Telsyte predicts the value of smart home products will jump from just $377 million in 2016 to $4.7 billion by 2021 and, like internet-connected TVs, internet-savvy whitegoods will simply become the norm.
These smart bulbs can turn on when they sense movement, and change hue depending on the time of day. The lighting colours — up to 50,000 shades of white — can be controlled and programmed via an app. This smart doorbell senses motion at your front door, and sends alerts and live video to connected smartphones. It also allows you to answer your door via smartphone or tablet, including with infrared night vision. The fridge (above) can stream video from its shelves, order groceries from its touchscreen and display recipes. You can enter expiry dates of stored items for reminders, use calendar and to-do list apps, and use voice-activated controls. This smoke alarm (below) detects smoke and carbon monoxide, sends alerts to your smartphone, and can light up when it detects movement. Using a SmartThinQ app, users can remotely start and monitor clothes washing, as well as track the machine’s energy consumption, and diagnose its own problems and solutions. PRODUCTS YOU CAN BUY TODAY SMART PHILIPS HUE WHITE AMBIENCE STARTER KIT, $190 NEST PROTECT, $189 RING VIDEO DOORBELL 2, $329 SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB 634L FRIDGE, $6199 LG TWINWASH SYSTEM, $3999