Smart technology: How your tablet can control your home
Joining the Smart tech revolution? A tablet can be the best way to control your Smart tech gadgets
11 Feb 2015
Turn up the heating, turn off the lights or check on your empty house - all from your tablet.
Tablets have revolutionised how we browse the web, watch movies and shop. Now they're fundamentally changing how we interact with our homes.
What is the smart home?
The smart home describes appliances and devices that connect to your home over the internet. Washing machines and fridges, thermostats, light bulbs, security cameras and vacuums can all be smart these days. Smart home innovations like these are considered part of a new revolution in technology referred to the 'Internet of things' with the potential to enable us to run our entire home's technology from our tablet or Smartphone.
Where does my tablet come in?
You can control these devices and appliances using apps on your tablet - whether on the sofa, on holiday, or at work.
What can smart home apps on my tablet do for me?
• Turn on the heating while walking home from the shops
• Watching a movie? Dim the lights without leaving the sofa
• Be notified when the kids get home from school - even if you're still at work
• Check on the baby sleeping upstairs
Control your heating from anywhere - Nest Learning Thermostat
In a nutshell: Control your home's heating from your tablet with this thermostat that learns how warm you like to be.
The Nest Learning Thermostat can be used as a regular thermostat, with heating times managed via your smartphone, tablet or computer.
The Nest app
Its app is intuitive and easy to use. With it you can:Turn your heating up or down from outside the house
- Adjust your heating programme - for instance, setting it to come on 1 hour earlier or later
- See whether you're using your heating less and saving energy
- Be updated when the thermostat's battery or air filter needs changing
Dim the lights from the sofa - Philips Hue
In a nutshell: Dim and brighten your home's lighting from your tablet at home or away, and set programmes to turn lights on and off at certain times of day
Smart light bulbs let you control the lighting in every room of the house from a single app with Philips Hue. Connect as many as 50 light bulbs - completely wirelessly. Hue bulbs are designed to last as long as 20 years - no more changing bulbs every few months.
The Hue app
The Hue App places the control of your home's lighting in the palm of your hand. With it you can:
• Turn on, Dim or brighten your bulbs from the sofa or out of the house
• Control bulbs individually or all together
• Choose lighting to help you read, relax or concentrate - at the tap of your tablet screen
Monitor your home from your desk - Samsung SmartCam
In a nutshell: Wireless camera that records when movement or noise is detected in your home and sends notifications to your tablet - also good for baby monitoring
Wireless security cameras monitor what's going in inside your home when you're not there. They connect your phone or tablet to let you know what's going on when you're out. You can also set it to record for specific periods of time, and save your footage on the camera rather than online thanks to a Micro SD card.
The SmartCam App
Keep tabs on your home when you're out with the Samsung SmartCam app. With it you can:
- Be notified when the camera detects movement
- Check in on what's happening at home at any time - great if you're out for evening or at work
- Talk to someone in the house through your tablet and the camera