gadget (Photo: reuters)
Ever since wireless internet grew to semi-widespread use in the last decade, the concept of "Smart homes" has been thrown around. But for the most part, it's been gimmicky-lack of consistent connection or slow speed has made the concept of smarthomes-that many appliances can be controlled, remotely, over the internet-more hassle than function.
But that could be changing. As technology-and wifi networks-grow, companies have improved these systems to efficient, and even usable, standards.
Nest Labs, a Silicon Valley start-up is one of the biggest newsmakers right now. They've recently introduced a device that not only uses motion detection to figure out when you're in a room and know when you're out, but it also connects your home's wifi network so you can use your iPhone or Android to as a remote control.
Want to turn up the air conditioning on the way home from a dog day afternoon? Just a few taps on the smartphone screen, and done: Your home will be cool when you step in.
Air conditioning Friedrich have also joined the world wide web era, introducing a new line of air conditioners that could also be controlled over the net.
You can do this with just about any electrical device, as long as you have Belkin's WeMo line of power accessories. You simply plug your TV, or lamp, or whatever, to the WeMo, and you can control its on/off switch over the net, with your phone.
With these new devices-and there are more to come, as Samsung is thinking of introducing a washing machine that allows the users to check its status over the internet-coming, the home experience is becoming easier, and perhaps, lazier.