There are a number of smart home products in Australia, which can be controlled remotely by smartphone, computer or virtual assistant.
From a fridge that can track your expiry dates and place an order from Woolies to a fingerprint scanner front door lock, there’s now a growing market of products designed to make your life easier.
If you are looking at setting up a smart home, ANZPJ has pulled together a list of the best gadgets to get you connected in no time.
What do I need for a smart home?
When it comes to controlling your smart home, you are going to want to establish a hub – you can use a smartphone or computer.
Voice-activated virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s HomeKit also act as great hubs for your smart home.
Google’s Nest Mini ($AU79) and Amazon’s 4th Gen Echo Dot ($AU79) are some of the smaller, more discreet virtual assistants compatible with more than a thousand smart devices, like lights, thermostats, and smart plugs designed by reputable brands.
Amazon’s Echo Show 10 offers more impact and comes with 10.1″ HD smart display that is designed to move with you so you can continue to watch the YouTube cooking tutorial while making your way around the kitchen.
All smart home devices have been designed to protect your privacy with multiple layers of protections and controls, including a microphone off button that electronically disconnects the microphones from listening.
What is the best Smart Doorbell?
Gone are the days of wondering if the Australian Post delivery driver knocked on your door, with the hardwired Nest Hello video doorbell connecting to your Wi-Fi network and showing you who is at your front entrance in real-time.
The gadget will store three hours’ worth of video recordings for free – more if you wish to upgrade to a subscription service – and can set alerts for ‘activity zones’ of your choosing.
The owner-controlled facial recognition feature allows you build your own personal facial recognition database based on regular visitors to your home, with the app alerting you when they arrive at your door.
While you are enhancing your doorbell, consider purchasing the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro ($219.99) – one of the best smart home products in Australia.
Not only can you unlock your door anywhere from your phone, but you can also create permanent and time-based temporary pin codes to allow access to your home.
The device also comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner, a keyed cylinder hidden behind the keypad and can also be locked and unlocked
using voice commands.
What do smart light bulbs do?
A smart bulb is an internet-capable LED light bulb that allows lighting to be customised, scheduled and controlled remotely. Smart bulbs are among the most immediately successful offerings in the growing category of home automation and Internet of Things products.
Philips has long been considered the king of smart light bulbs, with the company’s product range encompassing standard A19 bulbs, flood lights, light strips, fixtures and outdoor lighting options.
Philips Hue is easy and simple to install – it only takes a few minutes to set up and you don’t have to rewire your home.
Once installed, Philips Hue is the only smart lighting brand that works with all the major voice assistants on the market. It can also be easily controlled using the devices’ application.
Have the lights turn on automatically when you arrive in the dark or mimic your presence with lights switching on randomly when you’re out.
The lights can also mimic the sunrise to help you wake up more naturally, with go-to-sleep routines also easily programmable.
If this is not enough, you can also sync your lights with films, music, and games, bringing spatial awareness and immersiveness to a whole new level.
We would suggest purchasing an E-27 starter kit ($A314), which includes 3 x A60 bulbs (E27) and a wireless bridge 2.0 – the lights offer a lifetime up to 25,000 hours.
Is there such thing as a smart fridge?
Opening your fridge door to see what’s inside is so 2010, with smart fridges changing everything you thought you knew about kitchen appliances.
When it comes to smart fridges, Samsung’s Family Hub has to be top-tier when talking the best smart home products in Australia.
Admittedly, the Family Hub’s over-the-top features seem a little gimmicky at first, but once you start using the features, there is simply no turning back.
At its most basic, the Family Hub is a big fridge-freezer with a 21.5″ touch panel screen on the door, which controls the fridge’s standard functions.
Obviously, the screen isn’t just made for changing the temperature of your fridge, with the display offering the same function as a tablet – yes, you can watch Netflix on your fridge.
One of the best features is the ability to use the in-built cameras and the display to see what’s in your fridge without even opening the door – you can also connect to the cameras from your smartphone while at the shops.
If this isn’t enough, it even tags food expiration dates so you know what’s going off and a Woolworths app lets you order your groceries directly from the fridge door.
Even more, Samsung’ lets you turn your fridge into the hub of your smart home – connect to the SmartThings app and you can control all your compatible smart appliances IoT devices from kitchen.
Can I make my power outlets ‘smart’?
A hi-tech home doesn’t have to cost a fortune, with smart plugs making it possible to make any device in your home able to be controlled via a smartphone from anywhere in the world.
The TP-Link Smart Plug HS 100 is simple to set up. Simply insert the Smart Plug at a standard wall outlet powerpoint, download the app and you’re ready to have full control over your appliances.
TP-Link has also added an Away Mode schedule to automatically turn appliances on and off to disguise the fact that you’re away from home.
The Plug is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as well, allowing you to exercise Voice Control by allocating a name to each Smart Plug and addressing it by name when you’re giving it directions.