The term ‘internet of things’ may have been coined at the turn of the century, but today it has exploded into a world-wide phenomenon. Internet enabled devices are now so commonplace that in years to come, the connectivity of even the most humdrum home appliances will be completely normalised.
The Internet of Things
For anyone unfamiliar with the phrase, the ‘internet of things’ or IoT, refers to appliances and common household objects having network connectivity and the ability to collect and transfer data between other devices. It’s a concept which promotes the efficiency of communication, not only in the interaction between devices themselves, but also how humans will interact with these devices and utilities. In a world where all machines collate and exchange data, this transfer of information will allow processes to become more streamlined and tasks to be completed automatically without the need for human input.
IoT is happening in a big way. We’re seeing it on a much larger scale with the advent of self-drive cars and trucks which could almost completely automate logistics and bring order to our often-chaotic roads. It has the potential to revolutionise just about any other process which makes up a part of our daily lives, but how does this apply to the individual in the home?
Smart kitchen appliances are some of the more exciting smart products that emerged at the beginning of the year. Models of fridges have been made that allow you to see what’s inside without opening the door, whilst screens within the housing serve as a family hub for calendar reminders and notes. Ovens are also being created that can be controlled remotely from phones and include cameras to monitor your food while its cooking, without needing to open the door to take a peek. Home security systems, coffee machines and even humble cutlery are all receiving upgrades and this trend for Wi-Fi enabled appliances will only become more prevalent in the future – even if some seem a little unnecessary!
Haverland SmartWave – Futuristic Home Heating
The faraway winner of the push toward integrated smart homes is intelligent heating systems. Pun completely intended, many people have warmed towards the idea of having greater control over their heating, especially as we all become more conscious of our energy usage. Smart electric radiators like the Haverland SmartWave are entirely self-programming and learn your routine to create a bespoke heating schedule around your needs, minimising energy wastage from heating your home when you’re not around.
Motion sensors incorporated into this model mean that it doesn’t matter if you deviate from your expected routine: if you arrive early it will detect your presence and start warming the room, and if you’re late, it will switch off after 30 minutes. An optional smart box also means that you can control your radiator over the internet via your smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing you to check the temperature of your rooms from anywhere in the world. Using the Haverland SmartWave app on your phone lets you to control up to 30 radiators at a time so you can manage individual areas of your home if desired and zone your heating to rooms you use more often.
With traditional thermostats, most energy wastage comes down to either human error or the limitations of the basic design of the appliance. We often set times for heating to come off or on to fit a very general routine but rarely adjust them to fit our lifestyles when we act outside the norm. You might come home after work but go straight back out again after dinner, leaving your manual thermostat to assume that you’re still there and heat a home that might be uninhabited for hours. Forgetting to turn off your heating is an incredibly common occurrence but for most people continually making manual adjustments can be distracting and irritating.
This is where appliances like the SmartWave come into their own as they give you smart, flexible heating when you need it while still retaining functionality for manual adjustments if required. Smart appliances monitor and heat your home more effectively and prevent endless cycles of rooms becoming scorching hot then the temperature dropping suddenly after you turn the heating down. By using energy more effectively to maintain stable levels of warmth, intelligent appliances can really help you reduce your bills and will give you a better idea of how you heat your home rather than setting and forgetting your manual thermostat. If you want to economise in the long term, smart electric radiators are a must-have heating appliance for the modern home.
Keeping an Eye on Future Trends
The Guardian recently published an article appraising a range of smart appliances available on the market; from the bizarre (and slightly unsettling) Mother monitoring system that records meaningless, workaday user data; to adorable cleaning robots that will relieve us of the tedium of vacuuming. Our Haverland SmartWave was also featured very positively and if you’re interested in reading this hands-on review, you can find the article here.
What you stand to gain from the smart home and the ‘internet of things’ is increased efficiency through the delegation of simple tasks, leaving your appliances to do what they do best and do it better than you can. It envisions a future where your appliances respond to each other and to your needs to make your life as optimised as possible, whether you’re saving a few minutes here and there or simply unburdened by the accumulation of more menial tasks. As we move toward smart homes and integrated connectivity in home appliances, we’re likely to see even greater functionality and energy savings as this trend in technology continues to improve.